Peres with Koehler
Photo: Reuters
Peres: Ahmadinejad preventing peace
President speaks in Berlin, says Iran calling openly for Israel's destruction and denying Holocaust

President Shimon Peres told his German counterpart, Horst Koehler, that Iran desires to take control of the Middle East and destabilize the other regimes in the region.


"Ahmadinejad's regime is openly calling for Israel's destruction, denying the Holocaust, and preventing peace with the Palestinians. It is destabilizing Lebanon and Yemen and trying to take over Iraq," Peres said in a speech in Berlin Tuesday.


Peres met earlier with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said additional sanctions may be imposed on Iran very soon.


"Today's center of terror is in Iran," Peres said. "Terror is the military wing of Iran's political ambitions. The Iranians aspire to take control of the Middle East, and to destabilize existing regimes."


The president added that Israel would still strive for peace with the Palestinians. "Israel is reaching out its hand for immediate renewal of negotiations. I call on our Palestinian neighbors to respond as soon as possible. The Israeli people support the establishment of two states: A Palestinian state beside the State of Israel living together in peace and mutual respect," he said.


"Peace requires a majority, and an armed minority must not be allowed to thwart it. Hamas is preventing peace and preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state."


Peres spoke just hours before Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to leave for a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in order to attempt to reach an understanding on the renewal of peace talks with the Palestinians.


'Peace requires a majority.' Peres (L) and Koehler (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO)


The president also spoke of other threats to Israel's security. "Hezbollah is threatening the peace and wholeness of Lebanon, and gathering thousands of missiles to aim at Israel. These missiles are a danger to Lebanon, not just Israel," he said.


"The ayatollahs in Iran, heads of Hamas in Gaza, and leaders of Hezbollah in Lebanon wear religious robes, but the parables are those of a god of war, not of peace. Spiritual corruption abides, and those who regard it forgivingly endanger humanity's basic values. The free world's moral enlistment against this trend is no less important than economic sanctions."


Peres is also scheduled to speak Wednesday in honor of International Holocaust Day.


During his speech Tuesday the president also referred to the tragic event. "The memory of the Holocaust will accompany us all along our path," he said, and told of his grandfather, who was murdered by the Nazi regime, and his father, who was captured and miraculously  escaped death.


"They taught me not to give in, and especially not to enmity. They taught me to fight for the values that are the essence of our existence. The new Germany has a moral obligation, and its ear is already tuned to the first ringing of a racist voice," he said.


Meanwhile Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Poland for a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.


פרסום ראשון: 01.26.10, 21:31
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