Iran sees 'Spring' in Wall Street protests

Oct. 10, 2011 at 1:27 PM
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TEHRAN, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Iran hinted that the so-called Occupy Wall Street movement gaining steam across the United States is an American version of the Arab Spring.

Anti-Wall Street demonstrators criticizing the lopsided distribution of wealth in the United States have gained momentum in recent weeks. Protesters have demonstrated in more than two dozen cities, including Seattle, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta and Austin, Texas.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast hinted that Americans were experiencing something of an awakening but suggested authorities in the United States were "intolerant" of peaceful demonstrations, he was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr News Agency as saying.

The demonstrations have become political fodder in the United States. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told ABC's "This Week" that she supports the "message to the establishment" that there needs to be fundamental change in the United States.

"People are angry," she said.

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, however, told CBS's "Face the Nation" that the protests were a manifestation of "jealousy."

Iranian Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri said the demonstrations were a prelude to the "American Spring," a reference to mass protests and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa.

"The Wall Street protests will spark widespread anti-corruption protests in the United States, which will definitely culminate in the collapse of the Western capitalist system," he was quoted by MNA as saying.

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