Ramin Mehmanparast

Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has called on the government of Bahrain to refrain from violence when responding to the “peaceful demands” of protesters there. The Iranian spokesman also advised Bahrain to stop foreign countries from interfering in its internal affairs.

On Sunday in Bahrain, demonstrators who blocked the highway to the main financial district were violently confronted by police.

Iran condemned the arrival of Saudi troops in Bahrain today and urged the Bahraini authorities stop foreign interventions and respond to demonstrators peacefully.

At a press conference, Mehmanparst told reporters: “The people of Bahrain have certain demands. These are legitimate demands and are being expressed peacefully.”

The uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have triggered a wave of protests in the region that has also affected Bahrain.

Iran’s call for restraint and non-violence comes even as Iranian opposition and international rights groups accuse the Islamic Republic of silencing the opposition and violating the rights of protesters.

Today UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed grave concern at the Human Rights Council over Iran’s intensified crackdown on dissidents.