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Iran's Supreme Leader Hails Uprisings in Egypt

VOA News February 04, 2011

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hailed anti-government protests in Egypt and Tunisia Friday, saying they echo the 1979 Islamic revolution in his country.

Speaking during Friday prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei called the demonstrations an "Islamic awakening" and said the Egyptian army should back the protesters.

He accused Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak of serving the U.S. and Israel. He said Egypt's and other Arab uprisings, if successful, would lead to the defeat of U.S. policies in the region.

Also Friday, European Union leaders called on Egyptian authorities to begin the transition of power immediately.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was attending an EU summit in Brussels, said Egypt should be taking steps to ensure that there is a clear, credible, transparent path towards transition. He said so far, those steps have not met the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

Leaders from the 27-nation EU also called for the start of dialogue between the Egyptian government and the country's opposition.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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