Archive for the ‘Peres’ Category

Iran Still A Threat

January 3, 2008

Munich – Iran is a danger not only to Israel “but to the rest of the world,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said in an interview Wednesday. Threats made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad needed to be taken seriously, Peres told the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
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The world “cannot afford his madness,” he said.
Peres said Israel “had to take preventive measures against the threat posed by Iran,” but ruled out a military strike against Tehran “at present.” The current regime in Iran can be toppled by sanctions, he said, adding that, in the end, “Israel will survive Ahmadinejad.”
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Iran, whose president has called into question Israel’s right to exist, is under pressure from the West to halt its controversial nuclear programme, which some fear is geared towards making a bomb. Referring to the Mideast peace process, Peres voiced scepticism about a peace deal being concluded between the Jewish state and the Palestinians by the end of 2008.
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“We humans are not made for timeframes,” he said. The Israeli president called it a “tragedy” that the Palestinian territories were divided as a result of the seizure of power by the radical Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.
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“One of them wants to destroy us, the other (wants) a state at our side,” he said, ruling out a dialogue with Hamas. Peres dismissed the idea of a large-scale military operation to stop extremists firing missiles across the border at Israeli territory.
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“We did not pull out of the Gaza Strip two years ago in order to go back now,” he said. Peres voiced the belief that the Palestinians themselves would topple Hamas. In the long-term, the movement would fail because it did not to offer the people a perspective for the future, he said.
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The president also called on Saudi Arabia to play a more active role in the Mideast peace process. If Riyadh was seriously interested in peace in the Middle East, its representatives must also meet openly with those from Israel,” he said.

The White House expressed concern Wednesday over Iran's ...
The White House expressed concern Wednesday over Iran’s announcement that Russia would supply S-300 air missile defense systems, seen here in a 1996 file photo, to the Islamic republic. (AFP/EPA/File)