Peres wants economic sanctions
Photo: Amos Ben Gershon, GPO

Peres: Iran threat should be resolved politically

Peres says he does not support military strike on Iran, adds Tehran's nuclear threat should be addressed through political, economic moves; President also urges Syria's Assad to meet with Israeli PM in order to advance peace talks

Saying 'no' to Iran strike? The Iranian nuclear threat should be resolved politically, rather than militarily, President Shimon Peres said Friday.


Peres, who is currently in Italy, told reporters that the Iran problem will not be resolved militarily, but rather, through political and economic moves. The president added that it is better to act politically or economically as long as such option exists.


"I do not support a military strike against Iran," Peres told a conference in Italy, while urging the world to join forces and impose severe economic sanctions on Tehran. He said Iran was no longer representing its distinguished history, but rather, radicalism and religious fanaticism.


Today, Tehran constitutes a real and existential threat for the entire Middle East and the whole world, Peres added, noting that the vast majority of Arab countries object to the prospect of a nuclear Iran.


'No replacement for negotiations'

Addressing negotiations with Syria, Peres urged further progress. He called for Syrian president Bashar Assad to make a personal gesture similar to the dramatic 1977 Jerusalem visit by Anwar Sadat of Egypt, which led to a peace agreement in 1979.


I think if President Assad will create a visit to Israel or alternatively invite the prime minister of Israel to go to Damascus we shall see a major change," he said. "I believe the best way is to start with a meeting and then have negotiations."


Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, wrangled with Peres over a 2002 proposal by Arab nations to make peace with Israel on the condition that all the lands Arabs consider occupied are returned in full. However, Peres slammed the proposal for "being presented to the world as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition,


"There is no replacement for negotiations," the president added. Moussa viewed matters differently, arguing that no Israeli government agreed even to respond positively to elements of the proposal.


פרסום ראשון: 09.05.08, 16:27
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