Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous Post | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next Post »

IRAN: Government says only regime supporters can march for Egypt

February 9, 2011 |  7:00 am

Picture 8 Picture 7 Iranian authorities and the opposition continue to battle over the legacy of Tahrir Square, with both sides claiming an affinity with the popular protest movements in Egypt and around the region.

The Iranian judiciary on Wednesday rejected a request by opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karubi to hold a rally Monday in support of the antigovernment uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the Iranian Labor News Agency reported.

"If an individual truly shares the brave Egyptians and Tunisians motivation, then he will participate in the rally to be held on [Friday], the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution's victory, along with the government and the nation," said Iranian Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhoseyn Ezhe'i.

"On the other hand, choosing another day [to hold a rally] means these individuals wish to be in a separate front and will create divisions," he added. "This is a political act but the people have to be aware, and if required, they [people] will respond to them."

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has characterized the protests in Tunisia and Egypt as an "Islamic awakening" similar to Iran's own 1979 Islamic Revolution, the 32nd anniversary of which is to be celebrated Friday across Iran. Mousavi and Karrubi, meanwhile, have likened the protests in the Arab world to the antigovernment protests they led following the 2009 disputed presidential elections.

-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Photos: Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, left, has likened the protests in Tunisia and Egypt to his own "green movement." (Credit:; Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, has called the same protests an "Islamic awakening." Credit: IRNA