Rallies across the Arab world are justified because of the "tyranny" and "oppression" many protesters suffer from, Iraqi premier Nouri Al-Maliki said in comments released by his office Saturday.
"We think that the protests are normal and expected because of what many of these people are suffering from -- tyranny, oppression, corruption and lack of development," Maliki told a South Korean news agency, according to a transcript released by his office.
"The people have the right to peacefully change their reality for the better. We, as a fragile democratic experience, can only stand by the people's legitimate demands."
The interview was originally conducted on 20 April.
Maliki's remarks come amid massive protests across the region, with large-scale rallies having taken place in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria, and armed rebellion ongoing in Libya.
Maliki had previously commented on the protests, warning last month in a BBC interview that the "intervention" in Shia-majority Bahrain by the Gulf kingdom's Sunni neighbours risked a sectarian war in the region.
He said in early February that Egyptians had the right to democracy, amid an uprising that would eventually force Hosni Mubarak from power.