Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cheered protestors in Iran on Monday, and denied “laughable” allegations from the Iranian government that Israel encouraged the protests.
“Unlike Rouhani, I will not insult the Iranian people,” Netanyahu said in a video statement, referring to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “They deserve better. Brave Iranians are pouring into the streets. They seek freedom. They seek justice. They seek the basic liberties that have been denied to them for decades. I wish the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom.”
Netanyahu criticized European governments for not sufficiently speaking out in support Iranian protestors, who have taken to the streets in recent days to express frustration over economic problems in Iran, high prices and unemployment among the youth.
“Sadly, many European governments watch in silence as heroic young Iranians are beaten in the streets,” Netanyahu said. “That is just not right. And I, for one, will not stay silent. This regime tries desperately to sow hate between us. But they won’t succeed. The regime is terrified of them, their own people.”
The Israeli prime minister closed his statement by promising “Iranians and Israelis will be great friends once again, when this regime finally falls.”
“And one day it will,” Netanyahu said.
At least 10 people have been killed in nationwide protests in Iran over the past five days, Iranian state television said Monday.
State television said Iranian security forces had repelled “armed protesters” who tried to take over police stations and military bases, the Associated Press reported.