Iran says Britain, US 'interfering' in its affairs
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Tuesday accused Britain and the United States of "interfering" in the internal affairs of Islamic republic.
"It is surprising to witness British and American officials make remarks that clearly interfere in our country's internal affairs," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in his weekly briefing.
It is better for them instead to "hear the message of the region's people to realise that the real reason for popular movements and the Islamic awakenings in the region is hatred towards their policies," he said.
Mehmanparast made the remarks in response to a statement by the British foreign office marking the second anniversary of the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and expressing support for the opposition movement.
"We advise them to correct their wrong approach (towards the region) instead of levelling baseless and unfounded allegations" against Tehran, Mehmanparast said.
In an apparent response to appeals posted on opposition websites and Facebook, small groups of opposition supporters on Sunday gathered in central Tehran in a silent march to mark the second anniversary of the vote.
But a strong presence of security forces in the area averted any successful demonstrations, as dozens were arrested, according to witnesses.
Ahmadinejad won the June 2009 presidential election in a landslide, amid accusations of fraud by opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under house arrest for the past four months.
Britain on Monday urged Iran to release the arrested protesters, with a junior foreign minister with special responsibility for the Middle East saying the crackdown was "deeply worrying".
"I call on the Iranian authorities to release immediately all those detained yesterday and in the past two years for simply exercising what should be legitimate freedoms," Alistair Burt said in a statement.
Burt also called for an "urgent and transparent investigation" into the deaths of opposition journalist Reza Hoda Saber and activist Haleh Sahabi."
Hoda Saber died of a heart attack over the weekend after going on hunger strike on June 2, according to Iranian opposition websites.
He stopped eating in protest at the death of Sahabi, who died of cardiac arrest on June 1 when she was confronted by security forces during the funeral of her father, a veteran opposition figure.
© 2011 AFP