Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised Turkey for distancing itself from Israel and increasing its support for the Palestinians, Iranian state TV reported Tuesday.
During a meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Tehran, Khamenei said political changes in Ankara – particularly its "separation from the Zionist regime" – have brought Turkey closer to the Muslim world.
"This is a proper policy. The more Turkey approaches the Muslim world, the more it will be in its own and the Muslim world's favor,” Khamenei reportedly told Gul.
The supreme leader, who did not address the recent protests against the regime in Tehran, added that "years of the US and the Zionist regime's hegemony in Egypt and the humiliation of people were the main reasons behind the mass protests in Cairo. Egyptians are a Muslim nation which has strong Islamic motivation.”
Khamenei stressed the importance of maintaining and strengthening unity in the Muslim world and warned Muslims to not fall into the "trap of foreign powers aimed at causing discord.
“If the Muslim world becomes acquainted with its high capacities and capabilities, conditions will drastically change and the Muslim world can play a role in international developments as an influential power,” he said.
Gul arrived in Tehran on Sunday with a group of ministers and businessmen in hopes of expanding Ankara's economic ties with Iran. Khamenei told him he hopes the volume of trade between the countries, which amounted to $10 million last year, would triple.
Earlier Tuesday, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said the US and Israel were behind the anti-government protests in the Islamic Republic.
The parliament condemns the Zionist, American, anti-revolutionary and anti-national action of the misled seditionists," Larijani said during a parliament session.
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