Peres and Ban in Jerusalem
Photo: Mark Naiman, GPO

UN chief: No alternative to dialogue with Iran

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expresses concern over Iranian nuclear program but urges Israel to resolve situation peacefully

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday met with President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem and told him that the situation with Iran must be resolved in peaceful ways.


After the meeting, the two issued a joint statements in which Ban said he was very concerned about the possibility that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.


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"I have been urging the Iranian authorities to prove that their nuclear program is genuinely for peaceful purposes. I think they have not yet convinced the international community," he told reporters, but stressed that there is "no alternative to a dialogue with Iran."


באן לצד פרס. "רוצים לוודא שהגרעין האיראני הוא למטרות שלום" (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

Ban and Peres in joint statement (Photo: Mark Naiman/GPO)


Behind closed doors, Peres told the UN chief that time was running out and all options against Iran were on the table. The president also noted that Israel expects the international community not to turn a blind eye to the tangible Iranian threat.


Peres also commented on the EU's decision to issue an oil embargo on Iran, saying he is not convinced that the sanctions are sufficient, but that the move is in the right direction.


Iran is not only inchin towards a nuclear bomb, but is also operating terror groups all over the Middle East. It is a threat to the world – not only to Israel, and the international community should act accordingly and unite, Peres told Ban.


Commenting on the pending Security Council resolution against Syria, Ban said that the situation is being seriously examined and that the world can longer sit idle while people are getting killed every day.


Earlier on Wednesday, a senior UN nuclear official said a new trip to Iran is planned "in the very near future," indicating some progress on just ended talks with Tehran over its atomic program.


Herman Nackaerts of the International Atomic Energy Agency spoke at Vienna airport after a return flight from Tehran.


He said the Iranians say they are "committed" to progress, "so there is still a lot of work to be done and so we have planned another trip in the very near future."




פרסום ראשון: 02.01.12, 13:18
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