By Sam Youngman - 02/11/11 10:29 PM EST
The White House said Friday that Iran is scared it could be next after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak gave up power.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, briefing on his last day on the job, hailed the Egyptian protesters and said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government is “quite frankly scared of the will of its people.”
Gibbs said that if the Iranian government is as confident in the righteousness of its power it “would have nothing to fear” from mass protests like those that have gripped Egypt.
Protestors demonstrating for reforms in Iran were suppressed by that country’s government in 2009.
Gibbs read verbatim a statement from an officer in Iran's Revolutionary Guard that described how Iran will kill dissenters. Gibbs said that statement reflects how afraid Iranian officials are that the people will organize.
“They're scared of that, and they're threatening those who might do it with death,” Gibbs said.
Mubarak had held on to power in Egypt for 30 years, and his departure will lead to questions about the future of authoritarian governments across the Middle East.
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said in a statement Friday afternoon that Obama has not done enough in the past to stand up for protesters in Iran.
“The manner in which the Obama administration has chosen to be publicly active in the circumstances surrounding the protests in Egypt is in sharp contrast to the deafening silence that came from the White House when Iranian protesters were demanding change in their own country,” Price said.
Price blasted Obama as “remarkably absent” when Iranians were protesting for freedom.
"It is an inconsistency that the administration has yet to sufficiently explain," Price said.