Photo: Reuters
Tehran protests
Photo: AP

PM: Change in Iran could bring peaceful ties

Prime Minister Netanyahu tells German newspaper he has 'no doubt' Iran's citizens would choose a different government if allowed to vote freely. Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman calls Netanyahu's previous comments on Iran 'provocation'

Peaceful relations between Israel and Iran would be possible if new leadership took power in Tehran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with German newspaper Bild published on Monday.


"There is no conflict between the Iranian people and the people of Israel and under a different regime the friendly relations that prevailed in the past could be restored," Netanyahu told German daily Bild.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was officially re-elected in a June 12 vote that the opposition has denounced as a fraud, and that has provoked the most violent unrest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution which ousted the US-backed shah.


Iran has accused the West and its media of playing a role in fomenting unrest.


Netanyahu said he had "no doubt" that Iran's citizens would choose a different government if allowed to vote freely.


"I think the true nature of the Iranian regime has been unmasked," he told Bild. "What we have seen in Iran is a powerful desire on the part of the Iranian people to be free."


'Netanyahu's remarks provocation'

Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said in response to remarks by Netanyahu regarding Iran’s unrest, "The Zionist regime tried not to take a clear stance regarding Iran’s elections like some western countries, but since Sunday it started provocation to confront peace in Iran but it would not succeed.


In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Netanyahu said the world supported Iran's reformists: "I have no doubt everybody in the world is sympathetic to the Iranians' desire for freedom."


Qashqavi was quoted by ISNA as saying, "These actions will yield no results. Matters related to the elections are matters of the large Iranian family, and they will be solved through legal means."


The spokesman also commented on Israeli President Shimon Peres' visit to Azerbaijan, Iran's neighbor to the north, saying Iran was aware of the visit and believes it will have a certain influence on Israel's ties with Azerbaijan "in light of the Zionist regime's president's remarks before the visit and the continuation of threats on their part."


Reuters contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 06.22.09, 12:30
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