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Egypt: Top Sunni cleric warns Tehran not to meddle in Arab states

last update: April 19, 16:10

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(AKI) - A top Egyptian Sunni cleric on Tuesday urged Iran "not to interfere" in turmoil-hit Arab countries. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb's warning came after Tehran said Tuesday that it had appointed an ambassador to Egypt for the first time in 30 years.

"Iran must not interfere in events in Bahrain and other Arab countries, but must consider what is happening as internal questions. This will help dialogue between Sunnis and Shias," al-Tayyeb told a press conference, cited by the Youm7 website.

His remarks came after Shia-majority Bahrain's foreign minister stated on Monday there was no state of emergency in his country due to the recent unrest, but rather a "national safety situation" because of interference from Iran.

Since mid-March, Saudi troops have been helping Bahraini security forces brutally suppress a pro-democracy rebellion against Sunni hereditary monarch Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa that began mid-February. At least 30 people have died and over 500 have been injured during the protests. Some 500 people in Bahrain are known to have been detained during the current unrest and many are believed to have been tortured.

Al-Tayyeb also urged the rulers of states caught up in the wave of pro-democracy unrest that has hit the region this year, such as Libya, Yemen and Syria, to end the deadly violence against civilians.

"Put an end to the current bloodbath aimed at repressing the revolts by peoples who have a right to more freedom," al-Tayyeb said.

Egypt's longtime autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak resigned in February after three weeks of nationwide anti-government protests in which hundreds of people were killed and over 1,000 injured.


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