Iran Voices Regret over Recent Conflicts in Egypt

Iran Voices Regret over Recent Conflicts in Egypt

The Iranian Foreign Ministry expressed regret over the recent events and clashes in Egypt, and invited the opposing sides to practice self-restraint.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham made the remarks on Monday, condemning the use of violence in the North African country.

She also underlined the necessity for the adoption and practice of peaceful methods based on talks and understanding to materialize the demands of the Egyptian people.

Afkham stressed the necessity for the continuation of the trend of democracy in Egypt, and said, “The enemies of Egypt are seeking to sow the seeds of insecurity in the country and distort unity and integrity of the great nation and country of Egypt.”

Clashes erupted between demonstrators and security forces in Egypt, leaving 51 people dead and more than 260 injured.

The violence started early Sunday afternoon as Muslim Brotherhood protesters marched in different neighborhoods in Cairo and across the country.

In Egypt’s capital, people swam across the Nile River to escape arrest as military armored personnel carriers supported police clearing the streets of protesters.

Tear gas filled the air and security forces with batons beat some of the protesters they detained.

It was another powerful sign that Egypt’s military-backed interim government will go to almost any measure to shut down the Muslim Brotherhood’s protests.

But in nearby Tahrir Square, the scene was drastically different; throngs of people celebrated Egypt Armed Forces Day at a festive event that included dancing and fireworks.

As thousands of Muslim Brotherhood protesters marched along the Nile from Old Cairo toward Tahrir, security forces blocked their path and quickly dispersed the crowd.

Health Ministry official Khaled El-Khatib said that the death toll included 19 people killed in Cairo, 20 people killed in Giza, four people killed in Beni Suef and one person killed in Minya. Nationwide, 268 people were injured, state media reported.

In a statement, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party decried what it called “crimes of violence and murder committed today against peaceful protesters,” adding that it holds the leaders of the coup that ousted former President Mohamed Mursi responsible. Egypt’s Interior Ministry said it had arrested 423 “rioters” on Sunday.

In September, an Egyptian court banned all activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and froze its finances, drawing complaints from the international community. At the United Nations General Assembly, Egypt’s interim foreign minister sought to quell these concerns.

Nabil Fahmy said Egypt will hold elections in the spring. He also argued that the political process is open to all “as long as they are committed to the renunciation of violence and terrorism and acts of incitement to them.”

On Sunday, protesters from the Muslim Brotherhood said they would accept nothing less than the reinstatement of the government led by Mursi. But supporters of the military in Tahrir Square remained adamant that that shouldn’t happen.

Neither side appeared willing to compromise.

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