For the internationally isolated leaders of Iran, the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and other major cities are a sign that the “collapse” of the U.S. political system is underway, and they wholeheartedly support the protests.

The Iranian government, itself harshly criticized after a massive crackdown ended months of anti-government protests in 2009 following the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has embraced the leaderless protest movement and is trying to position itself as a champion for the rights of Americans.

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