Peres to tell Obama Israel should not strike Iran soon, officials say (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Yossi Verter 02/23/12)
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President Shimon Peres is expected to tell U.S. President Barack
Obama early next month that he does not believe Israel should attack
Iran in the near future.
Political and diplomatic officials who are familiar with Peres´
positions and are helping prepare for the Obama meeting said
yesterday Peres has been apprised of all sensitive information
According to these officials, Peres is close to Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu´s position on Iran, while Defense Minister Ehud
Barak is perceived, at least by the Americans, as pushing for an
Peres told officials that there is no point in what he called
the "unceasing self-intimidation" being voiced by senior Israeli
spokesmen. This is what he intends to tell Obama.
Peres has told officials that the recent threats by Israel are
unnecessary warmongering and that Israel should leave the Iran issue
to the superpowers, first and foremost the United States.
Peres leaves for the United States on Tuesday, and the following
Sunday he is to meet with Obama in Washington on the sidelines of the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.
Peres´ meeting with the U.S. president will take place a day before
Netanyahu meets with Obama. Netanyahu will arrive in Washington after
a visit to Canada.
The meeting between Peres and Obama will deal mainly with Iran, but
also with the stalled negotiations between Israel and the
When Obama meets with Netanyahu, he will already know what Peres
thinks - information he will use in his meeting with Netanyahu.
Peres is expected to tell Obama that Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas is still the best Palestinian partner with whom to reach a
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview
yesterday that Israel will not bow to U.S. and Russian pressure in
deciding whether to attack Iran.
Speaking on Channel 2, Lieberman rebuffed suggestions that warnings
against striking Iran would affect Israeli decision making, saying
the decision "is not their business." (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz
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