In a Sunday morning cabinet meeting, Israel's Vice Premier Shimon Peres raised the possibility that Iran would transfer nuclear arms knowledge to terror organizations. "Iran is capable of transferring and distributing nuclear proficiency to world terror organizations, which would lead to an enhancement of global terror and significantly harm the efficacy of free nations to protect the security of their citizens," Peres said.
He added that "Iran's disregard for legitimate international institutions, foremost among them the UN Security Council, places the stance, authority and fate of such institutions at risk. Iran is trying to establish an extreme religious hegemony everywhere in the world. Nuclear capabilities in the hands of the irresponsible Iranian leadership constitute a real existential danger to the safety of the entire world."
On a different note, Peres said he was gladdened by developments of a multinational force in Lebanon and stated that the force needed to be comprised of 30,000 soldiers. "This is the most significant barrier to prevent Hizbullah from redeploying on the Israel-Lebanon border and from rearming by smuggling weapons across the border with Syria."
Looming ultimatum rejected?
Iran continues to signal unwillingness to relinquish its nuclear program. Five days before the expiration of a UN ultimatum to halt Uranium enrichment, Iran made it clear that it has no intention of doing so.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, proclaimed that his country is determined to produce nuclear fuel. This statement came a day after Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated a heavy water reactor in the nuclear facility in Arak.
In a press conference broadcasted on Iran's government radio station Sunday morning, Larijani said that "nuclear fuel is a strategic objective for Iran – any steps taken to prevent Iran from implementing this right will not prevent us from changing our stance regarding this objective."
Ahmadinejad issued a similar statement Saturday, during the inauguration ceremony for the new reactor, declaring that no one could encroach on Iran's right to a nuclear program and that Iran would defend this right "also with force". According to the president, "you cannot deprive a nation of its rights merely because of its capabilities."
Despite these statements, Iran tried to send an appeasing message. Ahmadinejad said that his country does not constitute a threat to anyone "not even the Zionist entity, which is a complete enemy."
Foreign ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, echoed these sentiments when speaking with journalists in Tehran Sunday: "We are not interested in nuclear weapons and we will not begin any attack." Nonetheless, he added "it is not possible to achieve peace in the region due to the existence of the Zionist entity."