Gehad El-Haddad, the spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, on Sunday pressed the U.S. to label the military takeover in Egypt a “coup” and vowed that his group would not rest until deposed President Mohamed Morsi was returned to power.
The Obama administration has avoided calling the military action a coup, legal language which could block the $1.5 billion in aid the U.S. sends to Egypt every year.
“I don’t understand what naivete can behold any person to see all the ingredients, political signs of a coup, and not see the coup,” El-Haddad said in an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “It’s military junta on TV, tanks on the streets, troops on protest. Military people shooting civilians. I mean, it’s every ingredient of a full police state. I mean, what else are people waiting for?”
El-Haddad also vowed that there would be more clashes if military leaders did not “return the president back to his rightful place”
“There is no plan B. Again, we will stick by our principles,” he said.
El-Haddad’s comments come as Egypt faces another day of protests and clashes between pro-supporters and opponents of Morsi.
The Muslim Brotherhood leader was ousted last week and placed under house arrest by the military after days of mass protests over his rule. Morsi’s supporters though have vowed to restore the democratically elected leader, and on Friday the country saw more than 30 killed in violent protest.
The White House on Saturday condemned the violence, but has avoided taking sides in the conflict.
"The United States categorically rejects the false claims propagated by some in Egypt that we are working with specific political parties or movements to dictate how Egypt's transition should proceed," the White House said in a written statement. "We remain committed to the Egyptian people and their aspirations for democracy, economy opportunity, and dignity. But the future path of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people."
Obama also met with his National Security Council to discuss the situation.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Saturday criticized the military action and called for the administration to suspend aid for the military.
"We have to suspend aid to Egyptian military because the military has overturned the vote of the people," McCain said Friday according to a report from Al Jazeera.
McCain urged Obama to demand a timetable for new elections and the drafting of a new constitution.
El-Haddad said the rank and file of the Muslim Brotherhood was ready to take action to restore Morsi’s government.
“I lived most of my life under the oppressive state of Mubarak. My father did the same under a different regime. My grandfather did the same. It’s been too long and this country has been robbed of its freedoms,” he said. “I’m not willing to let my son and my daughter inherit a state in that mess. I will stand in front of that tank even if it rolls on our dead bodies.”