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Leader slams West over comments on Ashura protests

After Western countries condemned the crackdown on anti-government protesters during the religious ceremony of Ashura in Iran, the Leader of Ummah responds by saying that such comments have their roots in sheer “malice.”

During a Wednesday meeting with members of the Islamic Association of Students in Europe, Imam Ali Khamenei said the Western condemnation of the recent events in Iran has been provoked under the influence of “Zionist media.”

The remarks come days after anti-government protesters took to some central and downtown streets in Tehran, hijacking the Ashura ceremonies, during which people commemorate the 7th century death of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) grandson, Imam Hussein (PBUH).

Protesters reportedly chanted slogans against top Iranian government officials and damaged public buildings and properties. Iranian police forces used tear gas to disperse protesters.

US President Barack Obama, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union were quick to criticize the reports of the Sunday protests, issuing statements deploring the use of force against protesters.

Referring to the statements, Imam Ali Khamenei said such remarks come as a result of sheer “malice” and “selfish efforts to distort reality.”

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