Iran criticizes US comments on Tehran protests

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TEHRAN: The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday criticized the comments made by U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton in regards to the Monday protests in Tehran, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that the recent regional developments in the Middle East and North Africa have confused U.S. officials. Mehmanparast remarked the developments were a major blow to U.S. interests.

He said that the confusion of US officials was also stemmed from the ouster of the Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, and the exit of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia.

On Monday, Clinton called the Iranian regime 'hypocritical' and expressed her support towards the protesters after reports indicated that one person was shot dead in Tehran. Clinton added that Iran must open up the political system and hear the voices of the opposition and civil society.

"What we see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people. They deserve to have the same rights that they saw being played out in Egypt and that are part of their own birthright. There had to be change in the Arab world," said Clinton.

Iran responded by urging the United States to not interfere in its regional affairs. Mehmanparast added that the Islamic nation will not listen to governments which have "a dark history in human rights violations."

The Fars news agency reported that 9 police officers were injured during the street protests in Tehran. In addition, several demonstrators were arrested. Deputy Police Chief Ahmad Reza Radan confirmed that one people was killed and several injured.

Chief Reza added that clashes began after some armed men opened fire on the people. One injured civilian is in critical condition at a local hospital. Reza said that the protesters were encouraged by some "leaders of sedition."

According to Iranian authorities, the Monday protests were a response organized by the sedition leaders and foreign countries such as the Unites States, Israel, and the U.K. to overshadow the high turnout of the people during the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution last Friday.

Reza said dozens of rioters set garbage cans on fire, damaged public properties and smashed bus stations. However, Tehran security forces were able to disperse and arrest a number of protesters.

(BNO NEWS )

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