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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out on IranImage: AP

Israeli-Iranian relations

June 22, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a German newspaper that a new Iranian leadership could hold the key to peaceful ties between the two countries.


In an interview with Germany's mass-circulation Bild newspaper, Netanyahu said there was no conflict between the Iranian people and the people of Israel, and that "under a different regime the friendly relations that prevailed in the past could be restored."

With reference to the disputed June 12th Iranian elections, which have led to days of violent unrest in the capital, Tehran, Netanyahu said he was in "no doubt" that the people of Iran would elect a different government if allowed to vote freely.

Netanyahu's comments came ahead of a planned trip to Italy and France this week, his first to Europe since taking office three months ago.

"I think the true nature of the Iranian regime has been unmasked," he told the newspaper. "What we have seen in Iran is a powerful desire on the part of the Iranian people to be free."

He said that the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – who called the Holocaust a "great deception" and said Israel should be wiped off the map – was a threat for Israel, for moderate Arab countries, European security and world peace.

Editor: Trinity Hartman

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