West should treat Iran as it is treating Libya, PM says

Netanyahu says Libya's seat in UNHRC was an "absurdity," expelling it was "first step," Ayatollahs also systematically executing opponents.

Netanyahu 311 reuters (photo credit: Reuters)
Netanyahu 311 reuters
(photo credit: Reuters)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday welcomed the pressure the West is placing on Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, but said that equal steps should also be taken against Iran, which – like Libya – is a serial violator of human rights.
In his first public comments on the situation in Libya and the West’s efforts to help pry Gaddafi from power, Netanyahu said that it was an “absurdity” that Libya was a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council, and said that steps being taken to kick Libya off that body – which “condemned Israel over the Goldstone report” – was a positive “first step.”
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“Libya is a serial violator of human rights, and does not deserve any immunity,” he said during a visit to Upper Nazareth.
Click for full Jpost coverage of turmoil in the Middle East
Click for full Jpost coverage of turmoil in the Middle East
“I think Iran is also a serial violator of human rights, and should also not get any immunity. If the international community places special pressure on Libya and warns its ruler and soldiers against violating human rights, that same warning should be issued as well to the Iranian regime.”
Netanyahu said that just as Gaddafi is slaughtering his opponents, “the Ayatollahs in Iran are systematically executing their opponents. Therefore, the response of the West needs to be equally aggressive in both cases.”
Such a reaction, he said, would “send a very clear message of support and hope to the Iranian people that no one forgets them, and that everyone remembers their struggle for freedom and liberty.”
In private meetings with highranking visitors from abroad this week, Netanyahu has stressed the need to keep the focus on Iran, and that the West must ensure that the “wave of democracy” washing over the region doesn’t pass over Iran.
He said in these meetings that the international community should be supporting the protesters in Iran to the same degree that it is now supporting the anti- Gaddafi forces in Libya, and did over the last few weeks in supporting the protestors in Tunisia and Egypt.