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Danny Ayalon: Israel respects the Iranian people

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, said Israel has "deep respect" for the people of Iran.

In a Farsi-language broadcast on Kol Israel Persian radio, Ayalon said the regime, not the people of Iran, is the problem. During Monday’s broadcast, people in Iran called in to the station to ask Ayalon questions, according to Ayalon’s office.

"The Iranian regime spreads instability, supports terror, and oppresses its own people. It is impossible to accept atomic weapons in the hands of such a regime," Ayalon said. "The Iranian reactor constitutes a tremendous danger to the stability of the entire region and to world peace in general because, besides nuclear armaments, Iran is also developing a missile system that threatens countries beyond the Middle East, such as Europe. Nuclear weapons in Iran’s hands will enable it to threaten all the Arab governments with its present means," he added.

Ayalon also criticized the Iranian government’s civil rights abuses.

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