Planned Tehran march in support of Egypt protests will test Iranian regime: Opposition leader

Kabul, Feb 9 (ANI): Iranian opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi, has said that a planned demonstration in favour of the protests in Egypt and Tunisia in Tehran next week would be a test for both the Iranian government and its opponents.

The New York Times quoted Karroubi as saying that if Iran denies permission for the march, it would prove to the world that its position in support of the Arab movements is fake.

According to opposition in Tehran, the outrages in Egypt are a reflection of the post-election protest movement in Iran in 2009, and not the 1979 Islamic revolution.

"Any kind of event that involves the rise of the people and the fight against dictatorship in the Muslim world and in the Arab world is in our benefit. Next Monday will be a test for the Green movement - if the government issues a permit, there will be a huge demonstration and it will show how alive the Green movement is," Karroubi said.

Both sides in Iran are invested in the outcome in Egypt because of possible repercussions at home.

There is an imperfect connection between the two worlds: the ancient enmity between Persians and Arabs has extended into the modern era, amplified by the fact that most Iranians are Shiite Muslims while Arab countries are overwhelmingly Sunni, the paper said.

Iran has tried to leverage its stance on the Arab-Israeli dispute into a means to influence Arab countries, and also relate the political unrest in Egypt and Tunisia to the Islamic Revolution in the country, it added.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had given a prayer sermon last Friday in support of the demonstrators.

Whether this would put pressure on the Iranian government to allow the protest march to proceed on Monday, despite facing the risk that it could be transformed into an antigovernment rally, will be a test for the government, Karroubi said.

"If they are not going to allow their own people to protest, it goes against everything they are saying, and all they are doing to welcome the protests in Egypt is fake," he added. (ANI)

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