Peres wishes Iranians happy new year
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP
President Shimon Peres issued an audio greeting to the Iranian people, urging them to shake off the rule of "an oppressive and fanatical regime" and return to relations of peace and harmony with Israel, which, he recalled, the two countries enjoyed when the Shah was in power, until 1979. He called on the "noble Iranian people" to eschew the rhetoric of hate and even offered a greeting for Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, in Persian.
Israel Radio, which operates a channel in Persian, aired the message, also conducting an interview with Peres where he recalled a visit to Iran in the 1970s and recounted his visits to Iranian military bases and praised the "gracious" demeanor of the Shah.
Peres heaped praise on the Iranian people and expressed his belief that they would eventually topple the regime because "leaders who do not serve their constituents are eventually removed."
He dismissed the apparent hordes of supporters seen in televised speeches given by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as "sycophants or people who are afraid [of the regime]."
Regarding the future of relations between Israel and Iran, Peres replied he was more interested in "relations between Iran and itself. They will not destroy us. They will only destroy themselves [if they continue on their current path]." Alluding to several vitriolic speeches Ahmadinejad made against the Jewish State, a relaxed-sounding president said "so we hear another speech and another speech... we have been hearing these speeches for 4,000 years."
Full text of President Peres' New Years message to the people of Iran:
Dear citizens of Iran,
IRANIAN-EH AZIZ, RUZ-EH NOV VANORUZE BASTANT BEH SHOMA KHOSH BAD
With great happiness I would like to wish you, on the occasion of your holiday of Nowruz, a holiday of renewal that brings joy and hope for a new day, for better days, and for a new and blessed year. What a joy it is, this, your historical holiday that you have celebrated and kept for
The people of Israel have lofty historical memories from the period in which Iran thrived in a variety of fields and contributed to the world, among other things, Cyrus's ancient Bill of Rights, and to the Jewish people, our right to return to our land from the Babylonian Exile in order to establish the Temple in Jerusalem. Iran and its people therefore have a special place
in our heritage.
Our relations with the Iranian people have also known good times in the modern period. We shared our experience in agriculture, industry, and scientific and medical development, and we cultivated the best possible relations.
To our great sadness, relations between our countries are at their lowest point. This derives from the leaders of your country, who are driven to act in every way possible against the State of Israel and its people, and even to threaten us with their intention to destroy us. I ask myself how a noble people like you can be caught up in a blind hatred like this, how you chose a leader who scorns the people who were murdered by the Nazis, and who wants to destroy and kill another country. You believe in God, and we believe in God, but in a God of life and respect, not a God of death and hate. I am sure that the day is not far when we will return to good neighborly relations, and effective cooperation will blossom once again, in every arena, for the benefit of our people and our shared futures.
At this time, when the current regime in Iran is calling for the destruction of Israel, we call for Iran to prosper. We remember Cyrus the Great, who is noted in the Bible as the liberating king, and we remember that our people lived in Iran for many generations, sharing in the building of the land and contributing to to its welfare and culture. We are certain and hopeful that the darkness and the evil will disappear from the world for the good of all of humanity.
On the occasion of the new year, I turn to the noble Iranian people in the name of the ancient Jewish people, and I wish that they will return to reclaim their rightful place amongst the enlightened nations of the world. They will be respected and not hated, and just as they have in the past, I am certain that they will make great cultural contributions in the future.
I will conclude with the traditional blessing:
NORUZETAN PIRUZ HAR RUZETAN NORUZ BAD
In contrast to this message of support from the Israeli President, who clearly distinguishes between the Iranian people and their OPPRESSORS (Islamic Republic) please find HERE the full text of President Obama who makes no distinction between the people of Iran and their tyrannical oppressors (Islamic Republic) but only seeks to officialize economical relations at the expense of Iranian lives that are being lost at the hands of this terrorist regime each day.