Iran official: U.S. ordered violent suppression of Mideast protests
Comment by Iran's Parliament Speaker comes as U.S. slams Tehran for supporting Egypt revolt while violently suppressing Iranian opposition protests.
The United States ordered the violent suppression of popular protests across the Middle East, a senior Iranian official said on Sunday, adding that regional governments should side "with their own people."
The comment by Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani comes in wake of Libya's reported violent suppression of opposition protests, and amid continued popular protests in Yemen and Bahrain.
While Iranian authorities have praised popular Mideast revolts, such as those which resulted in the overthrow of the regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, Tehran had been less than patient with local opposition protests.
Last week a state broadcaster reported that Iranian government supporters clashed with pro-opposition people in Tehran, as more than 200 Iranian legislators demanded death sentences for the two main opposition leaders for allegedly organizing the latest protests with the help of Western countries
"Students and the people attending the funeral ceremony of the martyred student Sanee Zhaleh have clashed with a limited number of people apparently linked to the sedition movement and forced them out by chanting slogans of death to hypocrites," the state media website said.
The two main Iranian opposition leaders, former prime minister Mir-Hossein Moussavi and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, condemned on Wednesday the suppression of the anti-government protests and rejected any links to foreign countries.
Referring, however, to recent violent clashes with protesters in both Yemen and Bahrain, Iran's parliament speaker claimed that Washington was behind the suppression of those protests.
"Despite claiming to be an advocate of democracy, [the] U.S. has, hypocritically, ordered regional autocratic regimes to adopt tough manners against their people," Larijani was quoted by IRNA as saying.
The Iranian official urged regional governments not to get involved in U.S. “political confusion," adding that regime across the Middle East should "side with their own people."
Last week, the White House accused the Iranian government on Friday of blocking information about the developments in Egypt because it's "scared of the will of its people."
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the regime conducted arrests and is blocking access to international media and the internet because of the mass protests in Egypt that forced longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak's resignation.
"The Iranian government should allow the Iranian people to exercise the very same right of peaceful assembly and ability to demonstrate and communicate their desires," Gibbs said.