Iran cleric: Mideast unrest replay of Iran revolt

January 28, 2011 14:29


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TEHERAN, Iran — A change of government in Tunisia and violent protests in Egypt and Yemen are evidence that Iran's revolution is being replayed, a senior Iranian cleric said Friday.

"An Islamic Middle East is taking shape," Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said in his Friday prayer sermon. "A new Middle East is emerging based on Islam ... based on religious democracy."

Violent protests in Tunisia toppled former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and a "Friday of Wrath" has engulfed Egypt, a US ally. Protesters in Yemen also have called for the outser of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled for nearly 32 years.

Khatami said the deposed Tunisian president copied the policies of the former Iranian shah and met a similar fate.

"This is God's tradition: Those who fight religion are doomed to fail," he said.

Iran's state TV provided extensive coverage of the violent protests that have engulfed Egypt, and said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak won't have a fate better than the shah's.

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