Britain crackdown unacceptable: Ahmadinejad

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday strongly condemned what he called the "savage" crackdown by British police on rampaging youths, the state television's website reported.

"This savage treatment of people is absolutely unacceptable, and British statesmen must hear the voice of the people and grant them freedoms," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

"British politicians should look to help their own people instead of invading Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya to plunder their oil."

Ahmadinejad said part of the British public has "lost its patience and become frustrated," and urged London to "get on the people's side and change their management, instead of using such approaches."

He criticised the UN Security Council for remaining "silent" over the developments in Britain, which is experiencing its worst unrest in decades.

Riots raged into a fifth day on Wednesday as youths ran amok in Manchester and the industrial Midlands, but London was quiet after British Prime Minister David Cameron boosted the police presence in the capital to 16,000.

Scotland Yard said early on Wednesday that 768 people had been arrested and 111 police officers have been injured in the disorder.

"Even if one hundredth of these crimes were to happen in countries opposed to the West, the United Nations and other organisations claiming to defend human rights would vehemently decry it," Ahmadinejad added.

"The stage has now been set for testing the UN Security Council to see whether it will condemn one of its own permanent members," he added.

Looters have caused mayhem including in Britain's second largest city Birmingham, where three Asian men died early on Wednesday after being hit by a car.

Reports said they had just left a mosque and were protecting their neighbourhood in the central city.

© 2011 AFP

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