Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Friday the Islamic Revolution in 1979 has become a 'global movement' in the Middle East referring to Egypt protests.
Addressing a crowd at Azadi Square in Tehran, he said, Our revolution was not an ordinary political or national move, but as we see today, after 32 years, it led a global awakening and a new movement in the Middle East and North Africa, said a Reuters report.
Known for his controversial remarks against the West, he was quick to point out ideological failures as against religious movements in the region. The ideology of Marxism has collapsed, so will capitalism because both did not lead to people's prosperity, said Ahmadinejad revoking the name of God saying, thanks be to God, the Islamic Revolution came and the Iranian nation made history and led to the global awakening.
His remarks echo the official line taken by Iran over the protests in Egypt and Tunisia. Earlier, Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei described Egypt's protests against the Mubarak regime as an Islamic Awakening in the Middle East, defeating the influence of the West and their ally Israel.
Addressing Egyptians in Arabic after the Friday prayer sermon in Tehran, he said the protests in Cairo show the explosion of sacred anger against Hosni Mubarak whom he described as a traitor dictator guilty of betrayal to his countrymen by joining hands with Israel and delivering a severe blow to the Arab unity in the region.
“Do not believe in the game which is being played by the West and America; don’t believe in their role, don’t believe in their political maneuvers which are taking place in the midst of your awakening,” Khamenei said, reports Reuters, in his typical advisory remarks aimed at Egyptians.
The religious head of Iran also sought to single out the United States for its volte face in its policy towards Cairo. “Just a few days ago … the Americans were supporting the corrupt regime, and now after they are sick of preserving him, they are speaking about the rights of the people,” he said and added that the replacement of the current regime is nothing but replacing one spy with another.
His remarks reiterate Iran's stand on Egyptian protests stated early this this month by its foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. He was hopeful that the protests in Egypt would pave the way for an Islamic Middle East bereft of Israel and the United States. Essentially, Iran wants to project similarities between Cairo protests and its 1979 Islamic Revolution that replaced the US-backed Shah regime.
The region is assuming a new shape and with the developments, we would be able to see a Middle East that is Islamic and powerful and also that withstands the Zionist occupiers, he told a news conference, referring to Israel, oblivious to the fact that Tehran too witnessed similar protests over unfair elections in 2009.
Iran, which is facing increasing isolation from the West over its nuclear program, has been aggressive in befriending Arab nations in the region, especially those bordering Israel. While majority of Arab nations are Sunnis, Iran has a majority of Shi'ite Muslims, whom the Sunnis traditionally see as adversaries.
However, in post-Mubarak Egypt, Iran hopes the Muslim Brotherhood which has close ties with Palestine Hamas would come to power and pave the way for a realignment of Arab countries in the region and help isolate Israel in the Middle East. Iran is the only country with no diplomatic ties with Egypt in the region.