President Shimon Peres
told CNN Spanish that to the best of his knowledge Israel
was not involved in the murder of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.
This was the first response by an Israeli statesman to the allegations that Israel's Mossad was behind the hit.
The president noted it was fashionable to blame the United States and Israel for anything bad that happens in Iran.
On Thursday, US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
recent Iran-related developments, including the international community’s efforts to hold Iran accountable for its failures to meet its international obligations.
The White House said that during the phone conversation Obama "reaffirmed his commitment to the goal of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region."
Also Thursday, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Thursday that those behind the killing of a nuclear scientist in Tehran would be punished.
"This cowardly terror ... has been designed or helped by the intelligence services of CIA and Mossad and shows that the arrogant powers have reached a dead end in the face of the strong Iranian nation," Khamenei added, according to IRNA.
Meanwhile, Japan has been sending mixed signals over its support of sanctions against Iran. Japan's finance minister said on Friday there was no confusion over the government's policy of reducing Iranian oil imports in support of US sanctions, although earlier comments from the cabinet's top spokesman suggested Japan was not committed to taking such steps.
Separately, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba told his French counterpart, Alain Juppe, that sanctions against Iran should be carried out in a way that would not drive up oil prices, and that channels of dialogue should be kept open.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Jun Azumi said in a joint news conference with Geithner that Japan would take concrete steps to reduce oil imports from Iran. But a few hours later, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said importing less Iranian oil was only one of many opinions on how to deal with the matter.
Reuters contributed to this report