White House criticizes Iran response to Egypt

WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday said Iran's government is showing it is scared of the will of its people by cracking down on opposition leaders and blocking international media outlets in the wake of Egypt's uprising.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the Iranian government should allow the Iranian people to demonstrate and assemble peacefully.

The government of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has clamped down on its opposition, even as it has cheered the uprising in Egypt.

Gibbs said the government in Teheran is arresting opponents, blocking international media outlets and turning off the Internet. He said Ahmadinejad's crackdown "speaks volumes to the grip they have or lack thereof on the popular beliefs of their own people."

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