President Shimon Peres said Thursday that the people of Iran should be encouraged to overthrow their government.

Following a visit to a high school in the northern Druze village of Yarka, the president told reporters that “sanctions are beginning to work and to make a difference.”

“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,” he said.

Referring to the pro-Iranian Hezbollah’s launch of a drone into Israel almost two weeks ago, Peres said the terror group was more of a threat to Lebanon than to Israel.

In early October, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel had a deep interest in supporting those calling for a regime change in Iran and should press the international community to aid dissenters. Liberman made the comment a day after protesters clashed with police in the streets of Tehran over increasing economic hardships and the steep drop in the country’s currency value.

“The Foreign Ministry has long pointed out that we are on the way from the Arab Spring to the Persian Spring. What we are seeing now is just the first buds,” said Liberman in an interview with Army Radio at the time. “As we approach presidential elections in Iran, in June 2013, we will see much more of this.”