Peres on Iran: When we say all options are on the table, we mean it (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By RAPHAEL AHREN 02/23/12)
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US Ambassador Shapiro adds: And those options ‘are actually
available’ if they become necessary
President Shimon Peres refuted a report Thursday that he plans to
tell US President Barack Obama, during his upcoming visit to
Washington, that he opposes an Israeli attack on Iran. On the
contrary, Peres said, Israel “has the right to defend itself,” an
Iranian bomb would be “a catastrophe” and when Israel says “all
options are on the table, we really mean it.”
“I wake up this morning to read in one of the papers a huge headline
[about] what I’m going to say to the president of the United States,
Obama,” Peres said Thursday night in a speech to US-Jewish
leaders. “I think that’s very nice on the part of the paper. I
imagine that they probably wanted to suggest something for me, for my
agenda. It’s their imagination.
“As far as I’m concerned, I never told anybody in my life before a
meeting with such a leader what I am going to tell him,” he said.
Thursday’s edition of Haaretz quoted “political and diplomatic
officials who are familiar with Peres’s positions and are helping
prepare for the Obama meeting” as saying that he is against
the “unceasing self-intimidation” expressed by senior Israeli
officials, and intends to tell Obama that he opposes a military
Speaking at the closing session of the Conference of Presidents of
Major American Jewish Organizations’ annual leadership mission in
Jerusalem, Peres addressed the Iran nuclear threat briefly but
“The state of Israel is an independent, sovereign state, and has the
right to defend itself. When we say all options are on the table, we
really mean it,” he said.
“Imagine if Iran were to win (the race to the bomb). No country could
prevent it from freely exporting terror, or stop it dominating the
world’s economy. Iran with a nuclear bomb is a catastrophe,” said
After Peres, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro took the podium and addressed
the nearly 100 delegates, representing 50 organizations. He asserted
that despite media reports and public statements by officials
suggesting a growing rift between Washington and Jerusalem, the two
governments were on the same page regarding the Iranian threat.
“Whatever one reads in the newspapers, I cannot think of any issue on
which we are better coordinating than the issue of Iran,” Shapiro
said, adding that numerous senior defense and military officials had
consulted with their Israeli counterparts during the last few weeks.
Such close cooperation demonstrated unity in strategy and resolve on
a plan of action, he suggested.
“There is no other country in the world, there is no other
relationship in world, where the senior leaders would invest that
kind of time to make sure we have total coordination of our policy.
And we do,” Shapiro said. “We’re in total coordination and agreement
on the nature of this threat and the dangers of Iran acquiring
Crippling economic sanctions against Tehran are the “preferred
strategy” of both Israel and the US to prevent that from happening,
he added. “While our strategy is clear, for now, all other options
are on the table, and more than that, the necessary planning has been
done to ensure those options are actually available if at any time
they become necessary.” (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 02/23/12)
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