Iran hails Islamist Morsy's Egypt vote victory

DUBAI Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:15pm EDT

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's Foreign Ministry congratulated Egyptians on Sunday over the victory of Islamist Mohamed Morsy in the country's first free presidential election and said the country was in the final stages of an "Islamic Awakening".

Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsy defeated former general Ahmed Shafik to succeed President Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown last year after a popular revolt against his rule.

"The foreign ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran congratulates the victory of the Egyptian nation in these elections and the presidency of Doctor Mohammed Morsy," it said in a statement on the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).

"The revolutionary movement of the Egyptian people... is in its final stages of the Islamic Awakening and a new era of change in the Middle East".

Iran has lauded most Arab Spring uprisings as anti-Western rebellions inspired by its own 1979 Islamic Revolution, which empowered the Shi'ite clerical establishment.

But it has steadfastly supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Tehran's closest Arab ally, and at home it has continued to nullify demands for reform, which spilled into the street following the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

"The historic Egyptian nation, with their responsible participation in the momentous election have again proved their determination to realize the noble and justice-seeking ideals of the great revolution of Egypt with a splendid vision of democracy," the ministry said.

(Reporting by Isabel Coles; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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