March 26, 2011
At a press briefing on Tuesday in the White House, US Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the Iranian regime is fearful of its people who are a force for change.
Deputy Secretary Rhodes also said, “We have seen attempts by Iran to essentially wrap its arms around the unrest in the region and in some instances claim credit for it.”
“The Supreme Leader made statements, for instance, after the Egyptian protests, essentially asserting that they were in line with the Islamic Revolution of Iran … We don’t believe that’s true. We believe, for instance, in Egypt these were very indigenous forces that — Egyptian people who were demanding change.”
He said, “It exposes an extraordinary level of hypocrisy because ultimately Iran is refusing its own people the right to peacefully assemble and the right to free speech and has engaged in brutal crackdowns of its own. So Iran itself seems to fear its own people as a force for change within their borders.”
Mr. Rhodes added, “Iran has a long history, again, of attempting to meddle in the affairs of other countries, a long history of regional ambition. So we always monitor very closely anything Iran might try to do, whether it’s in Bahrain or Yemen or any other country, to try to co-opt forces to its own interests.”