Iran supports the protests in Egypt demanding authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak to step down after 30 years of ruling the North African nation, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said.
"Popular protests and movements in North African countries including in Egypt show the necessity of an overhaul in the region and putting an end to dictatorial rules," Salehi was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying.
The mass opposition riots, inspired by the so-called Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, have engulfed Egypt since January 25, with demonstrators demanding economic and political reforms.
Some 150 people have been killed and another 4,000 have been injured, according to Al-Jazeera TV channel.
The Iranian foreign minister welcomed the events in Tunisia and Egypt, saying "people are trying to decide their fate." He also criticized the United States for meddling in Egyptian internal affairs.
The upheaval in Egypt, a key U.S. ally in the volatile region, has posed a great challenge to Washington, with the latter threatening to review the $1.5 billion in military and economic aid to the country.
Salehi said the latest events in Egypt, which was the first Arab country to make peace with Iran's biggest foe, Israel, have shown that the Egyptian people will no longer "tolerate the crimes of a Zionist regime [Israel]." Israel immediately supported Mubarak's government after the unrest in Egypt sparked.
Israel, which voiced fears over the stability of the Middle East, allowed Egypt to send troops to the Sinai Peninsula to ensure the chaos does not spread throughout the region.
TEHRAN, February 1 (RIA Novosti)
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