Peres: Iran's freedom precedes nuke issue

President Peres slams Khamenei for hinting Israel, US behind anti-government protests in Teheran.

shimon peres248.88ap (photo credit: AP [file])
shimon peres248.88ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
President Shimon Peres on Sunday expressed hope that the Iranian leadership would "disappear" before the Islamic republic makes use of its enriched Uranium, saying it was more important to fight the Iranian regime than the country's nuclear program. "The struggle against the leaders of the Iranian regime is more important than [the struggle against] the bombs," Peres said, speaking at the Jewish Agency assembly in Jerusalem. "It's impossible to know what will disappear first - the enriched Uranium or their poor government," the president said, adding that "the hope is that the government will disappear first." The president also attacked Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has hinted that Israel and the US were behind the pro-Mousavi riots in Teheran. "The entire world should condemn his speech, according to which 'If you demonstrate there will be bloodshed.' What kind of message is that?," Peres said. "How is he not ashamed to tell his people that the US and Israel sent them to demonstrate on the streets and risk their lives? Not only is this a bluff, it is an insult to the Iranian people," the president concluded. Peres also stressed that "unlike the Iranian leadership, Israel has no ambition to wipe any state off the map, and wants to live in peace with all its neighbors and with all the Middle East states." Also Sunday, Iran's Parliament reiterated warnings sounded by Khamenei in which he said that leaders of the US, UK, France and Germany must not to interfere in the country's internal affairs, threatening that Iran would respond to such meddling "in other fields." Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani directed a message at US President Barack Obama, saying that he "showed the deceitful meaning of change too soon." According to Iran's ISNA news agency, Larijani called for the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament to revise relations with the US, UK, France and Germany. In his speech Friday, Khamenei blamed the United States, Britain and "other enemies" for fomenting unrest. He said Iran would not see a second revolution like those which transformed the countries of the former Soviet Union. "These divisions come from the Zionist radio and the bad British radio trying to change the meaning of the election," Khamenei said. He said the election outcome was a vindication of the Islamic republic and an earthquake for its enemies. "If the people did not trust in the system they would not participate in it," he said. "Iran's enemies are targeting the beliefs and trust of the people."