Baghdad: Rallies across the Arab world
are justified because of the "tyranny" and "oppression" many
protesters suffer from, Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki said in
comments released by his office on Saturday.
"We think that the protests are normal and expected
because of what many of these people are suffering from --
tyranny, oppression, corruption and lack of development,"
Maliki told a South Korean news agency, according to a
transcript released by his office.
"The people have the right to peacefully change their
reality for the better. We, as a fragile democratic
experience, can only stand by the people`s legitimate
The interview was originally conducted on April 20.
His remarks come amid massive protests across the
region, with large-scale rallies having taken place in
Bahrain, Yemen and Syria, and armed rebellion ongoing in
Maliki has previously commented on the protests,
warning last month in a BBC interview that the "intervention"
in Shiite-majority Bahrain by the Gulf kingdom`s Sunni
neighbours risked a sectarian war in the region.
And he said in early February that Egyptians had the
right to democracy, amid an uprising that would eventually
force Hosni Mubarak from power.