Peres, who is in Washington to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, warned against Iran's attempt to expand its reach in the Middle East.
The Israeli president was received with a full military service in the Pentagon and was awarded the Pentagon Medal of Honor.
Panetta, congratulated Peres: "This is a fitting recognition of your life's work – your life's work has been to advance peace, dignity and freedom.
"These basic values are at the core of the US-Israel relationship. We greatly admire your commitment to these values and we greatly admire your commitment to this relationship," he said.
Peres and Panetta (Photo: Reuters)
"I'm pleased to note that the cooperation between our two armies is stronger than ever," Panetta continued. "The commitment of the United States to Israel's security is rock solid.
"As always we look forward to hearing your views on the challenges that we face together. The goal remains the same for both of our nations – peace, prosperity and a dream of giving our children a better world," he said.
Peres thanked the secretary of defense for his words. Commenting on Iran, he said that Iran aspires "to take control of the Middle East as part of its religion-inspired imperialistic ambitions."
He further cautioned that "No responsible country in the world can accept a situation in which the Middle East falls victim to Iranian hegemony."
Commenting on the West's efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, Peres said that while he respects the six powers' diplomatic pursuit of a peaceful solution vis-à-vis Iran, "The Iranians continue to lie and cheat" in their efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
Peres also noted that Israel is grateful for the United States' military aid.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop