Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ayatollah Khamenei blames - yes, you guessed it - Israel and US for Egypt turmoil

(JPost) Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is placing the blame for Egypt’s political turmoil on Jerusalem and Washington.

The Shi’ite religious leader took to his official Twitter account on Saturday, to attack Egypt’s former leader Hosni Mubarak and his relations with Israel and the US.

“Mubarak’s collaboration w/ Israel&US made Egyptians feel humiliated so they made a #revolution&Zionists reacted against this revolution now,” he tweeted.

He pointed out that Egyptians acted against Israel in the past, saying “#Egypt was 1st country that entered into war w/ #Zionists for Palestinians.”

Khamenei also seemed to imply a parallel between current army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Mubarak, tweeting that Mubarak “was not a #freedom fighter or an anti-Zionist, but a servant to the Zionists.”

In another tweet earlier this month he stated that the “Zionist regime” is behind the turmoil, not only in Egypt, but in all of the Arab countries. “Muslims must beware,” the tweet concluded.

Also earlier this month, Khamenei tweeted that the “#Zionist regime sit and watch the situation of #Egypt w/ satisfaction.” A link in the text goes to a cartoon image of a group of American political leaders laughing hysterically at the turmoil in Egypt.

Tehran’s new foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday in an interview with Iranian Mehr News that the country needs a more “proactive diplomacy” and that one of his priorities would be to deal with the Egyptian crisis.

In what could become a common front against the military coup and crackdown in Egypt, Zarif and his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, discussed the situation on Friday, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported on Saturday.

The Turkish government, led by the Islamist AK Party, has been criticizing the military since the coup that toppled Mohamed Morsi.

Shi’ite Iran identifies with the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist agenda even though it is a Sunni movement. Tehran, which historically has had poor relations with Cairo, had a warm relationship with former president Morsi’s government, and viewed the Muslim Brotherhood as part of the “Islamic awakening” in the region.

Hundreds of Iranian students and NGOs rallied on Thursday in Tehran against the Egyptian army’s crackdown.

Tehran’s provisional Friday prayer leader, Ayatollah Ali Movahedi Kermani, called for an immediate end to bloodshed in Egypt and for Egypt to prevent foreign powers from interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

Egyptian events should not be an excuse for the intervention of superpowers, said Kermani, according to a report in Tasnim.