Shimon Peres
Photo: AP
Peres: Wish Iranian regime would vanish
President addresses post-presidential elections unrest in Islamic Republic, says riots express Iranians' attempt to 'reclaim their culture'

"You never know what will disappear in Iran first - their enriched uranium or the wretched government. we hope it's the government," President Shimon Peres commented Sunday, as reports of growing unrest in Iran keep pouring in.


"The Iranian people are trying to reclaim their culture's image. Let the young people speak. Let the women – such a courageous group – voice their thirst for equality," said the president, while speaking at a Jewish Agency convention in Jerusalem.


Iran's post-presidential elections unrest has seen masses take to the streets in protest of suspected election fraud. The Iranian elections saw Reformist leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi lose the vote to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


The riots which ensued have seen dozens of people killed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's Revolutionary Guard. Tehran's supreme leader urged calm over the weekend. Sunday morning saw Iran's police chief warn Mousavi that his officers will "decisively confront" any further unrest over a disputed presidential vote.


Commenting on Khamenei's speech, Peres said that "I heard the address. One cannot argue that Khamenei is a courteous, charismatic man, with a sense of humor. He claims to care about his people, but says 'rallies will see bloodshed.' What kind of message is that?


"He then claims that the Iranians are victims and that the US and Israel have prompted them to take to the streets and risk their lives. Has he no shame? It's an insult to his own people."


"Perhaps," he continued, "We should be fighting the regime instead of the bomb. I don’t know whether things would be different if, let's say, the Shah would have remained in power. If you ask me, the Iranian people should strive to stop being ridiculed."


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