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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ahmadinejad asks Libyan leader to meet protesters' demands

RIA Novosti

19:54 23/02/2011

TEHRAN, February 23 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has condemned violence against protesters in Libya, urging the country's embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi to listen to his people.

According to international organizations, 640 people have been killed and up to 4,000 wounded in clashes with government forces in Libya since protests against longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime began on February 15.

The Iranian leader criticized the "bad behavior of the Libyan government towards the people" saying "All should yield to demands of their own nation. Otherwise, the outcome is already clear," IRNA reported.

"I highly recommend leaders of these countries to let their people express their words and that they should follow public views," Ahmadinejad said in reaction to uprisings in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.

"If they claim to be governing the nations, they should listen to their nations and stand beside them," he was quoted by Fars news agency. "Serve your people and stand beside the people so that people do not revolt against you."

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities acted in direct contrast to Ahmadinejad's advice to the Libyan leader by crushing its own opposition protests inspired by recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia on February 14.

Rioters in downtown Tehran demanded fair elections, freedom of speech and an end to the persecution of dissidents. Police reportedly used teargas to disperse the crowd. At least two people died in the clash.

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