Arab Spring may turn into Iranian winter: Israeli PM

Iran is trying to cash in on the tide of mass uprising, warns Israeli PM.

Updated: Apr 18, 2011, 11:50 AM IST

Jerusalem: The pro-democracy uprisings sweeping through the Arab world are in danger of being manipulated by Iran`s Islamic Republic, Israel`s Benjamin Netanyahu warned in an interview.

Speaking in an interview over the weekend, the Israeli Premier said the unprecedented protests sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa could go one of two ways.

“What we hope to see is the European Spring of 1989,” he said, referring to the year which marked a turning point for the wave of revolutions sweeping through the Eastern Bloc which led to the break-up of the Soviet Union two years later.

But Tehran, he warned, was trying to cash in on the tide of mass uprising sweeping the region to turn it to its advantage in a bid to repeat the events of 1979 and the Islamic Revolution.

“We could find that the Arab Spring turns into an Iranian winter,” he said.

Since the start of the unprecedented popular protests in January, which first saw millions take to the streets of Tunisia and Egypt in a movement which has then swept through the region, Israel has been raising the spectre of an Iranian-style theocracy moving in to take over.

Bureau Report