Israel's president offers new year's message to Iranians
Israeli President Shimon Peres on Friday in a New Year's message to the Iranian people sharply criticized the leadership in Tehran.
In an audio message broadcast partly in Farsi ahead of the Iranian news year's holiday of Nowruz, Peres accused the government of Iran of doing everything it could to harm Israel and its people.
Connecting the militancy of the Iranian government with its current economy woes, Peres stated that Iran as "a country that is so rich with such a rich culture - why do they let a few religious fanatics take the worst path in the eyes of God and in the eyes of man?"
He called on the Tehran's leadership to work more for their people and "stop spending their days dealing with bombs and uranium."
"Children can't be fed enriched uranium for breakfast; they need a real breakfast. And you can't invest the money in enriched uranium while telling the kids to stay a little hungry and a little ignorant."
Peres continued the speech by directly criticizing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial comments denying the Nazi genocide against the Jews.
"Since when is he an expert on the Jewish holocaust. Was he in Auschwitz?" Peres asked.
"On the eve of the new year, I appeal to the noble Iranian people on behalf of the ancient Jewish people and urge them to reclaim their worthy place among the nations of the enlightened world," he added.
Israel considers Iran and its nuclear programme the greatest strategic threat to its existence. The Jewish state accuses the leadership in Tehran of financing and supporting Lebanon's Hezbollah militant organization as well as Palestinian militant groups.