Iran hails Egyptian protesters, cracks down on Iranian protesters

Iran said Feb. 11 that Egyptians have achieved a “great victory,” after it was announced that President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down. “A new Middle East is taking shape, not the Mideast the West had planned for but one which has been created based on Islamic awakening,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, speaking on the 32nd anniversary of the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. “The movement and uprising that has been created in the region will definitely disturb the equations in the world today.” (AFP, Press TV, Feb. 11)

Simultaneously, security forces arrested several opposition activists who had called for a protest on Feb. 14, to counter the regime’s official march in support of the Egyptian protesters. Opposition websites say at least eight people close to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi have been detained. They include his brother-in-law, former government minister Mohammad Hossein Sharifzadegan. Another opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi, was placed under house arrest. His website,, said security officials had told him that the restrictions would remain in place until after the 14th. International broadcasters are being jammed. (BBC News, Feb. 11)

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