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Self-restraint, dialogue key to solving political crisis in Tunisia: Iran Foreign Ministry

Iran has called on all groups in Tunisia to show self-restraint and resort to dialog to resolve the political crisis gripping the North African country and restore stability to their homeland.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is closely pursuing the ongoing developments and incidents in Tunisia,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Tuesday, adding that Tehran stands by Tunis to overcome the situation.

He called on all Tunisian parties to exercise self-restraint and protect the nation’s convergence, stressing the need for dialog among all groups in the country to end the tensions and work to realize the Tunisian people’s ideals.

The Iranian official said it is necessary to restore stability to Tunisia’s political and security sectors and expressed hope that the country will settle the crisis through national dialog as soon as possible.

With a population of 12 million people, the young North African democracy and the cradle of the Arab Spring uprisings a decade ago was thrust into a constitutional crisis on Sunday after President Kais Saied dismissed the country’s prime minister and suspended parliament, following a day of rallies against the ruling Ennahda Party.

The move was greeted with both celebrations and protests on the streets.

Saied announced that he would assume executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister, in what is seen as the biggest challenge yet to the democratic system Tunisia introduced following a 2011 revolution that ousted former Western-backed ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Earlier on Sunday, thousands of Tunisians marched in several cities protesting against the ruling Islamic Ennahda Party, slamming the government’s handling of a surging COVID-19 pandemic on top of the nation’s economic and social woes.

On Monday afternoon, Saied removed Defense Minister Ibrahim Bartaji and Hasna Ben Slimane, the acting justice minister.

Street clashes between supporters and opponents of the president broke out Monday outside the barricaded parliament, leaving several people wounded.

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