Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly criticized Iran
Tuesday as he began his first trip to Europe since taking office
earlier this year.
In Rome, Mr. Netanyahu accused the Tehran government of repressing its
own people and of supporting what he called terrorist proxies that
oppose Middle East peace -- the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
Speaking alongside his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi, the
Israeli leader also praised the actions of Iranian demonstrators
protesting recent election results, and said they deserve the support
of people everywhere.
For his part, Mr. Berlusconi endorsed a controversial Israeli proposal
calling for Palestinian political groups to disarm as a condition for
statehood alongside israel.
The Israeli leader meets later this week in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Associated Press quotes a statement from Mr. Netanyahu's office as
saying his meeting set for Paris with U.S. President Barack Obama's
special Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, has been postponed. The
statement says the meeting will take place after Israeli Defense
Minister Ehud Barack confers with U.S. officials in Washington next