Iranian leaders expressed satisfaction with the anti-government protests in Egypt, with one leader saying he believes the protesters were inspired by the revolution in his country in 1979.
“Today, as a result of the gifts of the Islamic revolution in Iran, freedom-loving Islamic peoples such as the peoples of Tunisia, Egypt and nearby Arab countries are standing up to their oppressive governments,” the New York Times quoted Ayatollah Mohammad-Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi as saying.
He congratulated the Egyptian people, saying their actions were "based on the principles" of the Islamic revolution.
Western officials fear Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be replaced by a hardline cleric similar to the ayatollahs in Iran, like the Muslim Brotherhood opposition party, which also gave rise to Hamas.
Mohammad-Javad Larijani, secretary general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights and a conservative leader, also voiced a positive opinion. "In my opinion, the Islamic Republic of Iran should see these events without exception in a positive light," he said.
Larijani also expressed hope that the "anti-Islamic" Tunisian government led by the ousted Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali will be replaced by a "people's government".
He was encouraged by the events in Egypt. "There, Muslims are more active in political agitation and, God willing, they will establish the regime that they want," he said.
In 1979, after years of internal turmoil, the Western-backed Shah regime was toppled in Iran and an Islamic regime established instead.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook