5 Feb 2011

Uprising in Egypt hailed as sign of Islamic awareness

7:50 am on 5 February 2011

Iran's Supreme Leader has described the popular uprising in Egypt as a sign of Islamic awareness in the region.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the protests in central Cairo are reverberations from Iran's revolution in the late 1970s.

The BBC reports the comments were made during his Friday prayers sermon at Tehran University.

Ayatollah Khamenei denounced President Hosni Mubarak as a servant of Israel and America.

AFP reports he called for an Islamic regime to be installed in Egypt, saying the wave of Arab revolts is an "earthquake" triggered by the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Ayatollah Khamenei called on the Egyptian army to back the protesters and "focus its eyes on the Zionist enemy", a reference to Israel which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979.

"If Egypt halts its alliance with (Israel) and takes its real position, what a great event will happen in the region. All the late Imam's prophecies will come true," he said, referring to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's revolution who called for popular uprisings throughout the Islamic world.

Without naming Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN nuclear agency, Ayatollah Khamenei warned the Egyptian people against compromising with any leader who might win Western approval.

"They are trying to replace one spy with another. They are trying to focus the spotlight on certain faces to impose the rule of the spies on you.

"Do not accept anything less than an independent popular regime that believes in Islam," he said.