President Shimon Peres wished Iranians worldwide a happy Persian New Year, and called on the citizens of the Islamic Republic to oust the "corrupted regime" in Tehran.
In a special message taped in time for the Nowruz holiday, Peres told Iranians: "May you have a real holiday and not a false one, may you experience the taste of freedom, the taste of honor and human dignity."
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The message was broadcast over the Israel Radio in Persian station, and was released online.
"I call on the Iranian people: It is not too late to replace the corrupt regime and return to your glorious Persian heritage, a heritage of culture and values and not of bombs and missiles," Peres said. "Sometimes I ask myself how a nation so cultured, with such a rich history, allows such an extreme, blind and hateful group to disgrace its historic legacy.
"How can a nation allow a regime to instill fear, take away the people's freedom and shock the young generation that seeks its way out of the dictatorial Iran. Iran, which was once widely beloved, is turning the whole world against it."
Addressing poverty in the Islamic Republic, the president accused the regime in the country of "investing all its money in nuclear development, abandoning the people to live in poverty and hunger. Enriched uranium won't feed the hungry."
Peres said that the Iranian people are capable of preventing an extreme escalation, promising global support once the citizens raise their voice in support for an "Iranian Iran."
Peres also reminisced about his visit to the Islamic Republic late in the Shah era, when Jerusalem and Tehran cultivated diplomatic ties.
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