'Wake-up Call': PM Bennett Slams Raisi's Election in Iran

Speaking at the first cabinet meeting, Bennet says Raisi's appoitnment may be the West's last chance to understand 'who they're dealing with'

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks as he chairs the first weekly cabinet meeting of his new government in Jerusalem, today
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks as he chairs the first weekly cabinet meeting of his new government in Jerusalem, todayCredit: Reuters
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that the election of Iran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi serves as a "wake up" call for Western powers.

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Speaking at the first meeting of his new government, Bennett added that this may be the last chance for the West "to understand who they're dealing with" before a return to the nuclear deal.

The hardline Raisi won the presidential election amid the lowest turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic. About 28 million Iranians cast their vote Friday, just over half of the country's 59 million eligible voters.

"From all the people [Supreme Leader] Khamenei could have chosen, they chose the Butcher of Tehran," Bennett went on. "A man who is infamous among the Iranian people and the world for his role in the death committees that ran the executions of dissidents."

On Saturday, Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that Raisi "is an extremist responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians. He is committed to the regime’s nuclear ambitions and to its campaign of global terror."

Raisi is under U.S. sanctions for alleged involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, when he was deputy prosecutor in Tehran. He is also the chief of Iran's internationally criticized judiciary, which is one of the world's top executioners.

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