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Iran Denounces Western Criticism of Protest Crackdown


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused the United States and Israel of staging Sunday's anti-government protests in which at least eight people died.

Iran's state-news agency (IRNA) Tuesday quoted Mr. Ahmadinejad as calling the protests a "nauseating masquerade."

Meanwhile, Iranian officials are denouncing international criticism of the Iranian government's deadly crackdown on Sunday's nationwide opposition protests.

Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani read a statement from lawmakers Tuesday saying U.S. President Barack Obama is disgracing himself by praising the Iranian opposition. Some members of parliament chanted "Death to America."

Mr. Obama said Monday he condemns what he called Iran's "violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranians." He also expressed "deep admiration for the courage and conviction of Iranians."

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband also praised what he called the "great courage" of Iranian demonstrators.

Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador in Tehran Tuesday to file a complaint about foreign interference in Iranian affairs.

The British government had said the envoy would respond "robustly" to any criticism and call for Iran to respect human rights.

Iran's state-run Press TV quoted Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying Britain will receive a "punch on the mouth" if it does not stop its "nonsense," as he put it.

Tehran also says Western nations are miscalculating if they think thousands of opposition protesters represent Iran's population of tens of millions of people.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.