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Iran is scared of the will of its people, says US

Last updated on: February 12, 2011 14:57 IST

In the wake of tumultuous political events in Egypt, which brought about the downfall of embattled president Hosni Mubarak, United States has said that Iran should not restrict its people from the freedom of expression and assembly.

Charging that the leadership in Tehran was "scared of the will of its people", White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, said, "What you've seen in the region is the government of Iran, quite frankly, scared of the will of its people."

"There is quite a contrast between the way the government of Egypt and the people of Egypt are interacting and the government of Iran is threatening its very own people", he said.

Hinting that protests that had erupted in Egypt could spread to Iran, Gibbs said, "If the government of Iran was as confident as they would you have believe in the statements that they put out, they would have nothing to fear with a peaceful demonstration like those that you've seen in Cairo and throughout Egypt," he said.

"They're not that confident. They're scared. That's why they've threatened to kill anybody that tries to do this. That's why they've shut off all measure of communication".

The press secretary said it is remarkable to watch in the region how Iran is dealing with the developments in Egypt, he said.

"I think about a week or so ago, they made some provocative statements about what these marches meant. We now know how they're responding to the images that we see in Tahrir Square," he said.

Asking the Iranian leaders to give their people the chance to express their will Gibbs said, "They are arresting people in Iran. They are blocking international media outlets. They are turning off the Internet. So for all of the empty talk about Egypt, the Iranian government should allow the Iranian people to exercise the very same right of peaceful assembly and ability to demonstrate and communicate their desires".

"I think we've all seen, again, their response," Gibbs said.

The head of the Revolutionary Guard said on Saturday, "Seditionists are no more than a corpse."

"We have all seen reports that over the past many days that those in Iran have and want to March and demonstrate peacefully. The government of Iran, again, has met the concerns of its people with threatening to kill them. I think it speaks volumes to the grip that they have, or lack thereof, on the popular beliefs of their own people," Gibbs said.

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