Khamenei. 'Our voice heard loudly'
Photo: Reuters
Protest in Alexandria
Photo: AP

Iran: Riots sign of Islamic awakening

Supreme leader Khamenei satisfied with Egypt uprising. 'The echoes of the Islamic Revolution are being heard. It is an earthquake and defeat for the US policy, and the Zionists are more concerned than anyone else,' he says during Tehran sermon

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says recent anti-government riots in Tunisia and Egypt are "a sign of the awakening of Islam inspired by the Islamic Revolution's victory in Iran."


In a sermon delivered Friday morning at a Tehran mosque, Khamenei said that "the Americans and Zionists are more concerned than anyone else about the situation in Egypt, but they are helpless and will not succeed in finding a remedy for the situation."


He accused Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak of "cooperating with the Zionists" and helping Israel impose its siege on the Gaza Strip.


"Egypt wouldn't let the aid convoy from Iran enter the area," he explained. "The main reason for the uprising is not just the economic situation, but the Egyptian people's feeling of humiliation."


The Iranian supreme leader said the events in Egypt would have far-reaching implication on the entire Middle East. "This is an earthquake, and if the Egyptian people carry on they will defeat the American policy in the region. The Zionist enemies are more concerned than anyone else, as they are aware of what might happen if Egypt cut off the alliance with them."


'Revolution has given hope'

Khamenei interpreted the Egypt uprising as a victory of the Islamic Republic's policy. "After years of struggle, the Iranian people see their voice is being heard loudly in other places in the Islamic world."


"Our revolution has succeeded in giving hope and setting an example, due to the stability and insistence on our principles while facing all the pressure," the Iranian supreme leader said.


He stressed that before the Islamic Revolution Iran was dependent on Western powers, but that after the revolution the country became independent and no power has the ability to affect the Iranian people's desires.


Khamenei added that although the West was trying to boycott the export of fuel to Iran, "I have received reports that in the coming days Iran will become an independent fuel manufacturer and even a fuel exporter."


According to the supreme leader, "Today the entire world knows that despite the pressure they exerted, America, Europe and their allies have been unsuccessful in beating Iran in the nuclear issue."


Brotherhood: No plans for presidential bid

Khamenei's speech was broadcast live on Iranian TV on a split screen, alongside a live broadcast from Cairo's Tahrir Square, where protestors where calling on President Hosni Mubarak to resign.


Iranian officials have claimed that the popular uprising in Egypt is a continuation of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the 32nd anniversary of which will be marked this month. The Iranian and Egyptian regimes have been in an ongoing state of hostility since Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel.


Despite Khamenei's remarks, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, Mohammed al-Beltagi, told Al-Jazeera on Friday that the group had no ambitions to run for the Egyptian presidency after the end of President Hosni Mubarak's term.


The 11th day of the Egyptian uprising has been dubbed "Departure Day", and the protestors believe that at its conclusion they will have managed to bring Mubarak's term to an end.


The Egyptian president, who has been in power since 1981, has declared that he would not run for another term, but the opposition is calling for an immediate transition of power – a demand backed by the United States.


The top American military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said the unrest in Egypt and other Middle East countries over the past week took the US and others by surprise. He said he was focusing on insuring that the military is ready to provide any support needed in Egypt.


The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said governments throughout the Middle East were concerned "about where this goes and how contagious it is."


He told Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central that he had spoken to his military counterparts in Egypt and was reassured they have no intention of firing on their own people.


The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 02.04.11, 11:48
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