Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh 311 Reu.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Yemen’s president called the White House on Wednesday to apologize for accusing
the US and Israel of being behind the recent popular unrest in his country,
according to a statement put out by the Obama administration.
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Ali Abdullah Saleh called US Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan “to
convey his regret for misunderstandings related to his public remarks that
Israel and the United States have engaged in destabilizing activities in Arab
countries,” the statement read.
The release also said that the Yemeni
leader said “he is firmly committed to meaningful political reform in Yemen and
that he is reaching out to opposition elements in an effort to achieve reform
through a democratic, inclusive and peaceful process.”
the call and termed comments assigning blame for the recent uprisings
“unhelpful,” since they “ignore the legitimate aspirations of people in the Arab
Meanwhile, Iran’s opposition said at least 79 people were
arrested at protest rallies on Tuesday that the government denied had taken
place at all.
Authorities have deployed large numbers of security
personnel to prevent any repeat of the massive unrest that followed President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2009 reelection, and on Wednesday state media made no
mention of Tuesday’s rallies.
Opposition websites said thousands of
people demonstrated in Tehran and other cities to demand the release of Green
Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi who they believe were
taken from their homes last week and jailed.
Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei denied the arrests had taken place, saying both men
were still in their homes but were being prevented from communicating with the
According to opposition website Sahamnews, at least 79
people were arrested on Tuesday.
Sites said around 1,500 were arrested on
February 14, during the Green Movement’s first rally in more than a year, which
was called to show support for pro-democracy uprisings in North
The police said “dozens” of people were arrested on February 14,
and a parliamentary committee set up to investigate the events said only small
groups of trouble-makers turned up.
Talking of events on Tuesday, Tehran
prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi told reporters: “A limited number of people,
influenced by anti-revolutionary groups, were intending to do
“No specific incident happened on Tuesday in Tehran,” he said,
according to the semiofficial Fars news agency. Dolatabadi declined to
give the number of arrests.