Iran strongly condemns Israeli raid on flotilla, urges punitive actions

09:18, June 01, 2010      

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An injured person is evacuated to Rambam hospital in the northern city of Haifa, Israel, May 31, 2010. Clash happened on Monday morning between an international Gaza aid flotilla and Israeli navy, causing at least 19 casualties, Israeli military confirmed. (Xinhua)

Iranian officials on Monday strongly condemned Israeli deadly attack on a flotilla carrying pro- Palestinian activists and tons of supplies for Gaza and called for international punitive measures against Israel.

The Israeli raid on the Freedom Flotilla was indicative of Tel Aviv's weakness, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, adding that the regime in Tel Aviv is a threat to global peace and security.

Israel "thinks that such actions are a sign of power, whereas they should be aware that this will lead to their end," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Calling for international efforts to save the Palestinian nation, the Iranian president said, "Supporting the people of Palestine is equal to supporting peace and freedom of every nation, " the local satellite Press TV reported.

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi also said the international community must isolate Israel for attacking an aid convoy en route to the impoverished Gaza Strip, according to Press TV.

"Israel triggered the countdown of its destruction by attacking the Freedom Flotilla," the report quoted Vahidi as saying.

The Iranian minister added that the imposition of all- encompassing sanctions, severing all diplomatic, economic and political ties with the Zionist regime is the least the international community could do against Israel for committing such a horrendous crime, according to Press TV.

Urging the international community for urgent reaction, he said that "This is an important test for the advocates of human rights which will show how committed they are to their slogans."

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili also strongly condemned the attack on the aid convoy, saying it shows Israel's " sheer desperation," according to Press TV.

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