Shimon Peres at a press conference in Jerusalem last month
Israel "shall prevail" if forced to fight Iran, "an evil, cruel and morally corrupt regime" bent on controlling the Middle East, says Israeli President Shimon Peres (pictured). © MENAHEM KAHANA - AFP
Shimon Peres at a press conference in Jerusalem last month
AFP
Last updated: March 5, 2012

Peres: Israel shall prevail if made to fight Iran

Israel "shall prevail" if forced to fight Iran, "an evil, cruel and morally corrupt regime" bent on controlling the Middle East, Israeli President Shimon Peres said in Washington Sunday.

His speech to a powerful pro-Israel lobby charged up the atmosphere for talks Monday between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will tackle the perceived nuclear threat from Iran.

"Iran is an evil, cruel, morally corrupt regime. It is based on destruction, and is an affront to human dignity," Peres told thousands of delegates at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) forum.

"Iran is the center, the sponsor, the financer of world terror. Iran is a danger to the entire world," he said in an address that was to be followed by minutes later by a speech from Obama.

"It threatens Berlin as well as Madrid, Delhi as well as Bangkok. Not just Israel," the veteran Israeli political leader said.

Thai police said last week that bombings there were part of an alleged plot to kill Israeli diplomats, in a similar fashion to failed attempts on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia.

"Iran's ambition is to control the Middle East, so it can control a major part of the world's economy. It must be stopped. And it will be stopped," the Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

"Israel experienced the horrors of war. It does not seek it. Peace is always our first option, but, if we are forced to fight, trust me: We shall prevail," Peres said.

"President Obama is leading and implementing an international, complex and decisive policy, imposing economic and political sanctions against Iran. President Obama made it clear that the US will not permit Iran to become nuclear."

Peres said "all options are on the table," alluding to the military option, because he said "containment is not a sustainable policy."

"The United States and Israel share the same goal -- to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. There is no space between us. Our message is clear: Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon."

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