A-Jad: Zionists Behind Cairo's Copt Massacre
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday blamed "plots" by Israel and the West for the slaughter of Coptic Christians by Egyptian security forces this week.
Ahmadinejad also repeated his well-worn mantra that western countries are attempting to abort and derail the Arab Spring in a bid to protect US and Israeli interests.
"Today, westerners are seeking to prevent the blossoming of revolutions in a large number of countries, specially Egypt," Ahmadinejad told Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.
He characterized the Egyptian revolution as a role model for the other freedom-seeking nations, and said the western countries do not want Egypt to hold free elections.
Egypt has become a scene of sectarian clashes in recent days, after the ruling military council ordered the closure of a Coptic church.
At least 25 were killed when soldiers used live fire to disperse demonstrators, who officials say had rioted and set cars in the area on fire to protest the decision.
But Ahmadinejad said he believes the unrest is the result of the US and the Zionist regime's plots against the Egyptian revolution.
"The main aim of such measures is spoiling stability in Egypt through seditious plots," he said. "Washington and the Zionists are seeking to foment insecurity in a bid to undermine stability in Egypt."
Ahmadinejad’s statements echoed those of Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf accused rioters of being part of a “dirty conspiracy,”
Also on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad disavowed the lashing of a youth who criticized him in a letter.
"When high-profile figures so freely insult the government, I disapprove that a youth is flogged for insulting me," he said.