TEHRAN - Tunisians are on the path to establishing Islamic rule in their country after having toppled a Western-backed dictator, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday.
"It is very clear that the nation of Tunisia rose up against a Western-backed dictator using Islamic, humane, monotheistic and justice-seeking slogans," he told a cheering crowd in the central city of Yazd.
"In one word, the Tunisians are after establishing Islamic law and rules," the hardliner said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
Lawmakers from Iran's conservative parliament voiced their support on Tuesday for what they said is the "revolutionary movement" of the Tunisian people, the Fars news agency reported.
"The parliament of the great Iranian nation strongly supports the revolutionary movement of the brave Tunisian people ... and wishes success to them," a statement signed by 228 members of the 290-strong parliament said.
"The freedom-seeking scream of the people of Tunisia ended the tyranny and atrocity and put a smile on the face of the oppressed people of Tunisia," said the statement.
The lawmakers said the current situation was created because of the "black report card of colonialist countries in Africa and the long, historical struggles of the people with tyranny on one hand, and the disinterest towards the country's needs on the other."
Parliament speaker Ali Larijani himself issued a call to the Muslim world.
"The Muslim world must listen to the cry of the Tunisian people ... The cry is clear that they are unhappy with the long years of dictatorship and pressures," he was quoted on state television's website as saying.
On Sunday, Larijiani had blamed the "United States and some Western countries" for the woes of Tunisians and branded their reaction to the unrest as "very funny."
And foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tehran was "worried" about the situation in Tunisia after strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's ouster in a popular revolt.
"We have very good ties with this nation, and we hope they achieve their main demands as soon as possible in peace, security and stability," he said.
On Tuesday, thousands of people rallied in several cities in central Tunisia, calling for members of the old regime to be excluded from the country's new government.
The revolt was sparked by the suicide of a university graduate prevented by police from selling fruit and vegetables to make a living.