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Iran calls on Bahrain to stop violence

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called on the Bahraini government to refrain from using force and violence against protesters.

“It is expected from the Bahraini government to deal with the demands of the people with insight, and to respect the rights of people, who are following up on their demands through peaceful means,” Salehi said in a statement by the Foreign Ministry on Sunday.

Bahraini security forces stepped up their crackdown on anti-government protesters, who were trying to expand their rallies from the capital’s main square to the country’s main business hub on Sunday.

Demanding King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s ouster and constitutional reforms, the demonstrators have been peacefully camping in the Pearl Square since February 14.

The square, which is the epicenter for the rallies, has become known to many as “the Martyrs Roundabout,” in memory of those that died during Manama-ordered suppression of the popular uprising.

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