Wed, Feb 02, 2011 - Page 6 News List

UNREST IN NORTH AFRICA: Iran says Egyptian uprising will create Islamic Middle East

AFP, TEHRAN

Iran said yesterday that the uprising in Egypt would help create an Islamic Middle East, but accused US officials of interfering in the “freedom seeking” movement that has rocked the Arab nation.

“With the knowledge that I have of the great revolutionary and history making people of Egypt, I am sure they will play their role in creating an Islamic Middle East for all freedom, justice and independence seekers,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying on the state TV station’s Web site.

Salehi said the uprising in Egypt “showed the need for a change in the region and the end of unpopular regimes.”

“The people of Tunisia and Egypt prove that the time of controlling regimes by world arrogance [the West] has ended and people are trying to have their own self-determination,” said Salehi, who also oversees Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

“Unfortunately, we are witnessing the direct interference ... of some US officials in the developments in Egypt,” he said.

In the initial days of the Tunisian uprising, Iran had said it was “worried” about the events in that country.

“We are worried about the situation in Tunisia ... we hope the Muslim Tunisian nation’s demands are fulfilled through peaceful and non-violent means,” the Iranian foreign ministry had said on Jan. 16.

Yesterday, Salehi said Iran would offer its support to the protesters in Egypt.

“On our part, we are going along with the freedom seekers of the world and support the uprising of the great nation of Egypt. We sympathize with those injured and killed” in the protests, he said.

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