PARIS (Reuters) - An Iranian diplomat who defected last month said Tuesday that Iran's leaders would rather "slaughter" their own people than surrender power to any popular revolt inspired by uprisings across the Arab world.
Ahmed Maleki, who was vice consul of Iran's consulate in Milan before fleeing to Paris with his family last month, is the latest in a string of officials to defect from the Islamic state and join a year-old opposition group called the Green Wave.
He said in an interview that Iranians had been inspired by images of popular revolt in North Africa but faced a regime far more brutal than those of Egypt, Tunisia or even Libya.
"In the course of the past 32 years the sole objective of the regime has been to retain power," he told Reuters at a prestigious hotel in Paris, speaking through an interpreter.
"They are willing to ... resort to whatever measure, including slaughter and bloodshed to the extreme in order to retain power.">>>
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