ROME (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Iranians protesting the results of the recent elections.
Tehran’s "aggressive and violent" behavior is a major threat to world peace, Netanyahu said at a Rome news conference Tuesday following a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
"I think we have to recognize that the greatest threat is the kind of aggressive and violent behavior that we see coming from Iran," he said
Netanyahu said Iran does not only support "terrorist proxies" Hezbollah and Hamas, but "it is also repressing its own people."
"I believe that the courage shown by the people of Iran in facing bullets in the streets for the sake of freedom is something that deserves the salute of free men and women everywhere," he said.
Netanyahu is on his first visit to Europe since his election. Both he and Berlusconi stressed the "excellent" bilateral ties between Israel and Italy, which is also Iran’s leading trading partner in Europe.
The two leaders discussed the Iran situation as well as prospects for Middle East peace. Berlusconi voiced support for Netanyahu’s recent call for a demilitarized Palestinian state, but he also urged a halt to the construction of new Israeli settlements.