Iran's Ahmadinejad wants Israelis tried over Gaza fleet

7th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Monday on the Israelis who carried out last week's deadly attack on the Gaza aid flotilla to be brought to justice.

"The attackers of the humanitarian convoy must be judged" for carrying out the "abject and inhuman act," he said in an interview with French television TF1.

Israel sparked international outrage when its commandos attacked the fleet of aid ships bound for Gaza and killed nine people.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has blamed the United States, Britain and France for the deadly raid and called for the prosecution of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

Ahmadinejad also denied in his French television interview that France and Iran had done a backroom deal to secure the release of alleged spy Clotilde Reiss home, a young French academic freed by Tehran last month.

"There was no need for a deal," he said.

"Lula (Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva) and other persons asked me to carry out a humanitarian gesture, which we did," he said.

An Iranian assassin walked free from a French prison and flew home on May 19 amid controversy over whether his release was tied to that of Reiss, who was freed three days earlier.

Ali Vakili Rad had served 16 years for stabbing and strangling to death the deposed Shah of Iran's last prime minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, near Paris in 1991.

The French government denied any deal had been done.

© 2010 AFP

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