Iran Rallies in Support of U.S. Protesters, Urges U.N. to Probe Police Response

By Patrick Goodenough | October 27, 2011 | 5:03am EDT

“Occupy Portland” protesters rally before marching through downtown Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

( - Iranians demonstrated in Tehran on Wednesday in support of the Occupy Wall Street rallies in the United States, which some Iranian leaders are hoping will lead to the downfall of Western capitalism.

Iranian media outlets described the protesters as laborers and said they displayed banners "condemning the suppression of Occupy Wall Street movement and tyranny of Zionist and capitalist system."

The demonstration was held in front of the Swiss Embassy, which represents U.S. interests in the absence of diplomatic relations between Washington and Tehran.

The protesters chanted slogans condemning the U.S., Britain and the "Zionist regime" and called on authorities to release those arrested in some of the protests in the U.S. and Europe.

According to an Iranian Students News Agency report, a declaration read at the protest urged the United Nations and human rights groups to investigate the authorities' response to the protests in U.S. cities and support the demands of "impoverished" American workers.

A similar call came Wednesday from a lawmaker who chairs Iran's parliamentary human rights committee. Zohre Elahian said in a statement Wednesday that "scenes of the suppression of U.S. protesters are upsetting" and deserve international condemnation.

Elahian is a leading critic of the U.S. human rights record, and frequently accuses Washington of using human rights issues as a tool to attack countries like Iran while covering up abuses at home.

Media outlets in Iran - where opposition protests following the disputed 2009 presidential election were violently crushed - are giving prominent coverage to the anti-capitalist protests in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Earlier this month, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, a senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as saying that the U.S. protests were "promising an American spring along the path of Islamic awakening." (The "Islamic awakening" is Tehran's term for the 2011 Arab protests.)

He predicted that the protests would "no doubt end in the downfall of the Western capitalist system."

The commander of the Basij, the regime militia notorious for its role in Iran's post-election violence, also voiced the hope that the U.S. protests "would lead to the collapse of the political system of the country."

Other regimes that have expressed support for the Occupy Wall Street movement include Venezuela and North Korea, whose official KCNA news agency said the protests were delivering a judgment against an "unpopular system that brings exploitation, oppression, unemployment, and poverty to the popular masses."

"The demonstrations which started in Wall Street are a manifestation of Americans' resentment at the U.S., the worst human rights abuser, and a judgment of it," Pyongyang's mouthpiece said in a commentary on Tuesday.

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