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Iran defends London rioters

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Authorities in Iran have slammed the British government for its "violent repression" of rioting youths and have offered to send a human rights delegation to the UK to investigate.

In comments carried by the country's state news agency Irna, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hit out at the UK's "killing and brutal beating" of "the opposition."

"The real opposition are the people who are beaten up and killed on the streets of London, those whose voices are not heard by anyone," he said, responding to widespread looting, arson and burglaries seen in cities across the UK in recent days. "Time is up for few capitalist families with different titles to loot other nations and governments and making them slaves."

The hard-line president, who has often been criticised for brutally repressing his own people, called on the UN to intervene in the on-going clashes between UK police and rioters. "What else should happen for the security council to react and condemn one of its own members?" he said.

His comments follow calls from conservative groups in Iran to open up the country's embassy in London as "refuge" to "UK protesters in need of protection."

Britain openly supported Iranian opposition during the country's contested elections in 2009 and the widespread government crackdown on protests that followed. Some European embassies in Iran also offered their properties as sanctuary for opposition protesters.

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