On message. Shimon Peres
Photo: Mark Neiman, GPO

Peres: Don't be alarmed by threats

Two weeks after publically coming out against Israeli strike in Iran, president takes another jab at Bibi and Barak; says 'Israel is stronger than ever, one shouldn't underestimate the threats, but not be alarmed by them either'

President Shimon Peres remains undeterred by criticism from the prime minister's bureau and continues to voice his objection to an Israeli attack in Iran.


At a tribute ceremony for reservists held at the President's Residence, Peres said that "Israel is stronger than ever" and stressed that "one shouldn't be alarmed by Middle East threats." The ceremony was also attended by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.


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"The Middle East is replete with both new and old threats," he said. "One shouldn't underestimate these threats but not be alarmed by them either. Israel today is stronger than ever.


Israel has its own means of defense – those created in the past, those being developed today and those that will be developed tomorrow. Our defense isn't static and isn’t banal. The future offers a dimension of hope, not just of concern."


Last month, the president publically came out against an uncoordinated Israeli attack in Iran. In an interview to Channel 2, Peres said, "It is clear that we can cannot do it (attack) on our own. We can delay it (Iran's nuclear program), but we realize we have to proceed together with America. There are questions of cooperation and of timetables, but as severe as the danger is, at least this time we're not alone."


In response, one of the prime minister's aides said that "Shimon Peres has forgotten what his role is as president of the State of Israel."


Barak: IDF will provide solution

Barak also addressed the Iranian threat during the ceremony though he did not mention it by name. "Israel is surrounded by a stormy sea some of which is not ready to accept it as an equal member of the world's nations.


"The reality in which we live in sets before us grave challenges, the need for optimal exploitation of our resources and the need for preparation for any development, near or afar. The IDF will be the one to safeguard Israel's security and its future. The IDF will be the one to provide the solution when the time comes."


IDF chief Gantz thanked the reservists for their contribution and added, "We have recently been hearing threats calling for Israel's destruction. The IDF is ready for any scenario. We will get to any place on time."


Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the West, and mainly the US over their lack of efforts to delay Tehran's nuclear program.


"Until Iran doesn't see a red line, it will not stop the program. Iran must not be allowed to have nuclear weapons," he said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.




פרסום ראשון: 09.02.12, 19:36
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