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Ahmadinejad calls Sunday protests "play" staged by Israel, U.S.

2009-12-30 07:59 BJT

TEHRAN, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that the Sunday anti-government protests in Tehran was a play staged by Israel and the United States, the official IRNA news agency reported.

During the annual Ashura commemorations of Shiite Muslims on Sunday, anti-government protestors clashed with the security forces in Tehran. According to local media, eight people were killed and more than 300 were arrested.

"Iranians have seen more of such plays. The Zionists (Israel) and the Americans who are the commissioners of these plays would be the sole audience," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Calling the protest event as "nauseating play," he strongly criticized the positions taken by U.S. President Barack Obama and the British government over the recent protests in Tehran, saying "We have advised them several times, but they are insisting to experience the contempt," according to IRNA.

On Monday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband praised Iran's Ashura Day anti-government protestors for "their great courage" and called on Iran "to observe human rights of its own citizens."

Obama also condemned on Monday Iran's crackdown on protesters, saying "history will be on the side of those who seek justice."

The Ashura ritual is performed in Iran and some other countries with large populations of Shiite Muslims. During the annual Ashura commemorations, mourners, generally clad in black, take to the streets or gather in mosques to grieve over the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammed, who was killed and buried in Karbala in 680 AD.


Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua