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Sunday, February 13, 2011

From Egypt's Al-Ahram Weekly: "Egypt is not Iran"

Far from bringing comfort to the Iranian leadership, Egypt's revolution is inspiring Iran's democratic opposition, writes Rasha Saad

Popular and political forces in Egypt vehemently criticised statements made by Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei last week that described the Egyptian uprising as "Islamic" and linked it to the 1979 Iranian Revolution.   
During his Friday prayer sermon, Khamenei was quoted as saying that "the riots in Tunisia and Egypt are a sign of the Islamic awakening in the world following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran."   
"After years of struggle, the Iranian people see that their voice is heard with strength in other regions in the Islamic world," Khamenei added.  

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul- Gheit said Khamenei should be attentive to calls for freedom in Iran rather than "distracting the Iranian people's attention by hiding behind what is happening in Egypt."   
The Egyptian foreign minister said that "Iran's critical moment has not yet come, but we will for watch that moment with great anticipation and interest."  
Khamenei's statements caused uproar from Egyptian demonstrators in Tahrir Square, who protested against what they saw as Iranian interference in Egyptian affairs.  
"Egypt will never be another Iran. We will never be ruled by a theological dictatorship as is the case in Iran," one of the protesters told a cheering crowd.
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