Israel's Peres voices hope for Iran govt change
Israeli President Shimon Peres, commenting on unrest in Iran, said on Sunday he hoped the current Iranian government would disappear, Reuters reported.
"Let the young people raise their voice of freedom for a positive policy. Let the Iranian women, who are a very courageous group of people, to voice their thirst for equality, for freedom," Peres said in English in a speech to visiting Jewish fundraisers.
"I really don't know what will disappear first, their enriched uranium, or their poor government," said Peres, whose post is largely ceremonial. "Hopefully, the poor government will disappear."
Israel, believed by experts to possess the only atomic arsenal in the Middle East, sees Iran's nuclear development as a threat, due in part to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls for the Jewish state to be destroyed.
Israeli leaders have avoided taking sides publicly over the protests that erupted in Iran after the disputed June 12 presidential election, focusing instead on what they see as the dangers posed by Tehran's nuclear programme.
The head of Israel's Mossad spy agency, Meir Dagan, said on Tuesday that Iran may obtain the technology to build an atomic weapon by 2014. Iran says its nuclear project is intended solely to produce electricity.