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Iran Official Says French Protests Are 'Islamic Awakening'

Iran's head of judiciary, Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani (L) speaking with president Hassan Rouhani. File photo

The head of the Islamic Republic Judiciary has said on Monday that protests in France are part of the “Islamic awakening” and a development foreseen by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

According to Mizan news agency, Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani said Khamenei had predicted years ago that Islamic awakening will not be limited to Muslim countries and will reach Europe. He did not explain how the protests are related to Muslims.

This is the latest in a string of statements by senior Iranian officials about French protests. On December 3, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman told reporters that France should “show restraint” in dealing with protesters. France later responded that Iran should not interfere in the matter.

On Sunday, Iran’s former hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also tweeted that France should listen to the demands of the protestors.

The Islamic Republic has used overwhelming force on many occasions in the past twenty years to suppress student and other protests, especially the mass demonstrations in 2009, in the wake of the disputed reelection of Ahmadinejad.

Dozens of protestors were killed in 2009 and hundreds imprisoned in Iran. Several detainees died in prison and those who were freed spoke of torture and inhumane treatment.

In the last major nation-wide protests last December-January 25 people were confirmed dead and close to 5,000 arrested.