Egypt slams Iran for comparing unrest to ‘Islamic awakening’

2011-02-05 14:56

Cairo – Egypt’s foreign minister today criticised remarks by Iran’s supreme leader that the unrest in the North African nation was a sign of an Islamic movement gaining strength in the Arab world.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday compared the unrest in Cairo to the period before the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 and described the recent events as an “Islamic awakening”.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit said the comment “crossed all red lines by addressing Egypt’s internal issues through a hostile and hateful perspective”.

“The hopes to establish an Islamic Middle East led by Iran reveal what the state seeks to achieve in the region.”

Khamenei also said that “the echo of the Iranian nation is now heard in North Africa”, and that a new political set-up in Egypt would endanger Israel’s existence.

Iran and Egypt severed diplomatic ties after the 1979 revolution because of Cairo’s peace treaty with Israel, although the two governments do maintain interest sections.

Egypt’s anti-government protests entered their 12th day on Saturday as thousands of protesters refused to relent on their core demand that President Hosni Mubarak step down. 

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