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Israeli President: Iranian People Need To Overthrow Tehran Regime

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Israeli President Shimon Peres reviews the Greek Presidential Guard during a welcoming ceremony in Athens on Aug. 6, 2012. (credit: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli President Shimon Peres reviews the Greek Presidential Guard during a welcoming ceremony in Athens on Aug. 6, 2012. (credit: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Israel’s president believes the Iranian people should start a revolt to overthrow the Tehran regime.

“We must support the Iranian people… I believe we would all be happy to bring the Iranian government down from its high and dangerous branch,” Shimon Peres told The Times of Israel.

Peres added that the sanctions levied against Iran by the United States and the European Union are “beginning to work.” President Obama signed an executive order last week carrying out new sanctions against Iran.

A top Iranian military official warned of retaliation if Israel decides to launch a military strike against the Islamic regime’s nuclear facilities.

“An attack by the Zionist regime would be an opportunity to destroy that regime,” Gen. Hossein Salami, acting commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, said, according to The Associated Press. “Their defense mechanism is not planned for big and long wars. Their threats are only psychological and if they cross the limit or act upon those threats, (Israel) will definitely be destroyed.”

Western diplomats tell Reuters that Iran continues to defy demands to curb its nuclear program and are continuing to enrich uranium at the Fordow plant.

“We think that they have continued installing centrifuges at Fordow,” an unnamed diplomat told Reuters. “We think that their pace has continued the same as it was, which was pretty rapid.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted that the Jewish state will launch a military strike against Iran if the regime does not curb the country’s nuclear program. U.S. officials have adamantly stated that Israel should let the sanctions play out before any form of force is used.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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