Peres to Iran: Reclaim your rightful place among 'enlightened nations'
In Israel Radio Farsi channel address, president says 'You can't feed your children enriched uranium.'
President Shimon Peres has recently issued a special message to the Iranian people, ahead of the Iranian holiday Nowruz, which symbolizes the start a new year, urging the Iranian people to reclaim their place among "enlightened nations."
"With great pleasure, I offer you this blessing on your holiday, a day of renewal that brings with it happiness and hope of a new day, of better days and a blessed new year," Peres began.
"Unfortunately, the relations between our two countries have hit a low point, stemming from ideas that compel your leaders to act in every possible way against the state of Israel and its people. But I am convinced that the day is not far off when our two nations will restore good neighborly relations and cooperation in thriving in every way," he went on to say.
"At the start of the new year," he concluded his blessing, "I urge you, the noble Iranian people, on behalf of the ancient Jewish people, to reclaim your worthy place among the nations of the enlightened world, while contributing a worthy cultural contribution."
The message, part of which was recorded in Farsi, was broadcast on Israel Radio's Farsi channel, which enjoys a wide audience in the Farsi-speaking world.
"Things in Iran are tough," said the president at the start of the address that preceded the blessing. "There is great unemployment, corruption, a lot of drugs and a general discontent? You can't feed your children enriched uranium, they need a real breakfast. It cannot be that the money is invested in enriched uranium and the children are told to remain a little hungry, a little ignorant."
"[I suggest] you don't listen to [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, it is impossible to preserve a whole nation on incitement and hatred, the people will become tired of it," the president continued.
"I see the suffering of the children and ask myself ? why? [Iran] is such a rich country with such a rich culture, why do they allow a handful of religious fanatics take the worst possible path, both in the eyes of god and in the eyes of man?" Peres asked.
"I think that the Iranian people will topple these leaders," Peres went on to say, "these leaders who don't serve the people ? in the end the people will realize that."
The president also addressed Ahmadinejad's address at an international conference questioning the Holocaust in 2006, saying "since when is he an expert on the Holocaust of the Jews? Was he in Auschwitz? What does he know? Every day he speaks and speaks? They are destroying their people, but they won't destroy us so fast. We've heard, over the 4,000 years of our existence, many speeches, many anti-Semites, many people who wanted to destroy us - we survived and they didn't."