US Vice President Joe Biden has urged the Iranian government to let the people of Iran march and speak out.
“I say to our Iranian friends: let your people march, let your people speak, release your people from jail, let them have a voice,” Biden said.
The comments came on the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and shortly after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned following massive protests aimed at bringing down his 30 years of rule.
They also came after Iran blocked access to the BBC’s Persian TV service due to its coverage of the revolt in Egypt, even as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad extolled the protest movement.
The United States slammed Tehran’s “hypocrisy” in blocking the broadcasts.
“The recent arrests [of opponents] and effort to block international media outlets underscores the hypocrisy of the Iranian leadership,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
“For all of its empty talk about Egypt, the government of Iran should allow the Iranian people the same universal right to peacefully assemble, demonstrate and communicate in Tehran that the people are exercising in Cairo.”
Meanwhile, at a rally to mark the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Ahmadinejad hailed the Egyptian movement as a defeat for US interests in the Middle East.
“They [the United States] have adopted a friendly face and [are] saying, ‘We are friends of people of North Africa and Arab countries,’ but be watchful and united. You will be victorious,” he said, according to AFP. “[The] Iranian nation is your friend, and it is your right to freely choose your path. [The] Iranian nation backs this right of yours.”
Iran has no diplomatic ties with Egypt or the US.
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