Washington/Tehran, Feb 16 (IANS) US President Barack Obama hopes to see more anti-government protests in Iran, Iran’s Press TV reported from the American capital.
“My hope and expectation is that we are going to continue to see the people of Iran have the courage to be able to express their yearning for greater freedoms and a more representative government,” he said during a White House press conference Tuesday.
The remarks came one day after the supporters of two of the defeated candidates in the 2009 presidential election, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, gathered in parts of the Iranian capital, Press TV said.
Monday’s demonstration was called by Mousavi and Karroubi in support of the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings. Both opposition leaders are under house arrest and were unable to participate in the protests, for which Ali Larijani, speaker of the parliament, blames the US.
Larijani said the US is behind the anti-government protests, adding that Washington is angry over Iran’s support for the liberation movements sweeping the Middle East.
“The main purpose was to clone (the protests) so they could claim that the crises plaguing the US-backed dictatorships in the region have spread and that Iran – which has been the forerunner of democracy in the region – is also having internal problems,” Larijani said.
Iranian lawmakers have called for the prosecution of Mousavi and Karroubi and have denounced their call for illegal rallies in which two people were killed and several others injured.