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Tags: Iran | Netanyahu | trial | assault

Iran Wants Netanyahu to Face Trial

Tuesday, 01 June 2010 09:52 AM EDT

TEHRAN — Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday called for Israel's prime minister and defence minister to face trial for the deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla in the eastern Mediterranean.

The United States, Britain and France must also be held accountable for Monday's Israeli raid on the aid ships, said Khamenei, who is all-powerful in the Islamic republic.

"The Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference must not be satisfied with anything less than a full lifting of the Gaza blockade," he said in a statement.

Khamenei also called for "an end to the grabbing of Palestinian land in the West Bank and a trial of criminals such as (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and (Defence Minister Ehud) Barak."

He said the "criminal attack ... should have convinced everyone that Zionism is the new and more violent face of fascism which is backed by those states which advocate freedom and human rights, above all the US government."

Washington, London and Paris should also be held accountable, he said.

"US, Britain, France and other European communities which have politically and financially backed these natural-born criminals should be seriously held accountable," the cleric said.

In a pre-dawn operation on Monday, Israeli commandos raided the flotilla and at least nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed in ensuing clashes, according to the Israeli army.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also lashed out at Israel and said Tehran had precise information that Israel planned to launch a "massive attack" on Gaza in the wake of the deadly raid.

"I warn you that if this time you commit a crime against any place, against Gaza, the storm of regional nations' fury will uproot you," he said in a speech in the western city of Ilam.

The hardliner, who has repeatedly angered the international community with his anti-Israeli tirades, also criticised Washington for issuing what he said was a "very weak and biased" response to the raid.

"Instead of condemning, it has spoken vaguely and sought to evade taking a stance," he said, while some European countries had adopted a "good" stand.

Separately, Ahmadinejad offered his condolences to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the "martyrdom" of some Turks in the raid, the website of Iranian state television said.

"There must be a swift global consensus on imposing sanctions against the Zionist regime politically so it comes under the required pressure to punish the perpetrators of these international crimes, state terrorism and piracy," he said in his message to Erdogan.

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said the flotilla attack was a "new aggression by the regime occupying Jerusalem."

"I urge the international community to seriously confront those behind this inhuman act," he said on his Kaleme.com website.

Former president turned opposition supporter Mohammad Khatami criticised the UN Security Council for "keeping quiet" over such Israeli "crimes."

"I am simply amazed that the UN Security Council threatens and imposes sanctions against independent countries which want to exercise their legal rights, but keeps quiet in the face of such massive crimes," the ILNA news agency quoted the reformist former president as saying.

Khatami was alluding to repeated UN Security Council ultimatums to Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, a process which it regards as its right to master under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, 01 June 2010 09:52 AM
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