Last updated: 31 August, 2011

Iran warns against US taking lead in Arab protests

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday warned against the United States taking “control” of the uprisings that have swept the Arab world, state television reported.

“The events currently taking place in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and elsewhere are key (events) for Muslim people,” the television’s website quoted Khamenei as saying.

“If the Muslim nations stand against those who interfere in their internal affairs, these nations will experience progress,” he told a group of officials and people.

“But if the world of oppression and world Zionism — including the oppressive regime of the United States — take control (of the movements), the Muslim world will experience major problems for decades,” Khamenei said.

Tehran has supported the protests in all Arab countries except Syria, its main Arab ally. It has has repeatedly criticised interference by the United States and the West, particularly in Libya but also in Bahrain.