Clinton: Iranians deserve same rights as seen in Egypt

Clinton expresses support for tens of thousands of opposition protesters who fill Tehran's streets.

February 14, 2011 21:39
1 minute read.
Iranian protestors attending an anti-gov't protest

iran protests 311. (photo credit: AP)

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday expressed support for the tens of thousands of protesters in Iran's capital, saying they "deserve to have the same rights that they saw being played out in Egypt and are part of their own birthright."

Speaking to reporters after meeting House Speaker John Boehner, Clinton said she and others in [US President] Barack Obama's administration "very clearly and directly support the aspirations of the people who are in the streets" of Tehran.

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She spoke of the "hypocrisy" of the Iranian government that hailed the protests in Egypt but has tried to suppress opposition at home.

She said there "needs to be a commitment to open up the political system, to hear the voices of the opposition and civil society."

Clinton's comments come after security forces arrested dozens of Iranian opposition supporters Monday while they were taking part in a banned rally in Tehran to support popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, an Iranian opposition website said.

"Witnesses say in some parts of Tehran security forces arrested dozens of protesters," opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi's Kaleme website reported.

Also on Monday, The US State Department launched a Twitter account in Farsi.

The account, which called for "freedom and peaceful assembly for all" gained over 2,000 followers in its first day.

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