- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Iran’s president on Wednesday told Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and other embattled Middle East leaders to “let their peoples express their opinions and then follow their notions,” Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Meanwhile, Iran’s government continued to violently suppress a domestic protest movement that arose in response to the disputed 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr. Ahmadinejad on Wednesday “urged those leaders of regional countries who respond to the demands of their nations and their revolutionary uprisings with hot bullets to join their peoples’ movements instead of creating blood baths,” the news agency reported.

He also said “it was a wonder that how the ruler of a country could kill his own people using guns and tanks and even stress that he would kill anybody who utters a word against him.”

Last week, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton excoriated Iran for celebrating the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia while crushing dissent at home.

“You know,” said Mr. Obama, “I find it ironic that you’ve got the Iranian regime pretending to celebrate what happened in Egypt, when in fact they have acted in direct contrast to what happened in Egypt by gunning down and beating people who were trying to express themselves peacefully in Iran.”

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