In stark contrast to the overly cautious tone being sounded by U.S. President Barack Obama, Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday cheered on Iranians protesting the results of the recent presidential election in the Islamic Republic, and urged them to continue until they are freed from the clutches of the current regime.
In remarks carried by the Israeli press, Peres said Iranians need to “raise their voice of freedom” until the oppressive and dangerous government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad disappears.
In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the demonstrations across Iran had finally unmasked the repressive nature of not only the Ahmadinejad regime, but the ayatollah-ruled theocratic system of government as a whole.
On Monday, Netanyahu told German newspaper Bild he has no doubt that given the opportunity, the Iranian people would choose a totally different system of government and would ultimately make peace with Israel.
“There is no conflict between the Iranian and Israeli people and under a different regime, the peaceful relations that existed in the past could be reestablished,” said Netanyahu.
In the U.S., Obama is under growing pressure from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to express greater support for Ahmadinejad’s opponents in Iran.
But last week, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak cautioned that backing Iranian presidential challenger Mir Moussavi would not be enough, since he shares many of the same dangerous views and policies as Ahmadinejad.