Iranian Media Hail Egypt ‘Revolution’
Media in the Arab world are generally reporting cautiously on the protests rocking Egypt following the shakeup in Tunisia, but those in Iran are giving the turmoil prominent, almost gleeful, coverage.
Sunni Egypt, viewed as the leader of the Arab world, and Shi’ite Iran are longstanding rivals.
Iranian outlets, especially those linked to the government and establishment, are using terms like “revolution” and “uprising” to describe the protests, painting the demonstrators as heroic and giving headline treatment to voices predicting the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak.
The approach is in sharp contrast to their treatment of Iran’s own political upheaval following disputed presidential elections 18 months ago. Then many Iranian media organizations promoted the government position and treated protestors unsympathetically – even with contempt. (Traditional media was also heavily censored during that period.)
The Tehran Times, Iran Daily and Resalat newspapers were among those that led their Thursday editions with the Egypt story, using headlines like “Spirit of Tunisia comes to Egypt,” “Egyptians demand end to Mubarak rule” and “Intensification of public protests against Mubarak regime.”
The Tehran Times describes itself as the mouthpiece of the Islamic revolution, Iran Daily is affiliated with the official state IRNA news agency, and Resalat is a conservative daily supportive of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.