Tehran: Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that a new Middle East is being created
which will be free of the United States and Israel, as he
backed uprisings rocking the Arab world and warned Egyptians
to beware of America.
Massive crowds of Iranians, waving flags and chanting:
"Death to (Egyptian President Hosni) Mubarak!" and: "Death to
America!" descended on Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square to
listen to the hardliner, who lashed out at the West and Israel
in a speech marking the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic
"We will soon see a new Middle East materialising
without America and the Zionist regime and there will be no
room for world arrogance (the West) in it," Ahmadinejad told
the cheering crowds, who gathered despite the cold and cloudy
In a speech directed in good part at the Arab
uprisings, Ahmadinejad said Egyptians needed to be careful of
the United States.
"They (the United States) have adopted a friendly face
and say 'we are friends of the people of North Africa and Arab
countries', but be watchful and united. You will be
victorious... but your path of resistance is a lengthy one,"
"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, which has no diplomatic ties with Egypt, has
backed mass protests there, now in their 18th straight day,
with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urging the people
to establish an Islamic regime in the Arab world's most
The expressions of support came despite the deadly
crackdown launched by the Iranian authorities when hundreds of
thousands took to the streets of Tehran and other cities to
protest against official results giving Ahmadinejad a second
term in a June 2009 presidential election.
Dozens of Iranians were killed, hundreds wounded and
scores arrested by security forces during the protests which
shook the pillars of the Islamic regime.
First Published: Friday, February 11, 2011, 23:01