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Israeli President: Stop war rhetoric against Iran

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Israeli President Shimon Peres

Israeli President Shimon Peres has reportedly called on Israeli officials to halt their recently intensified war rhetoric against Iran, describing such anti-Iran remarks as unnecessary warmongering.

Peres told the Israeli officials that there is no point in the “unceasing self-intimidation,” and that Israel should leave “the Iran issue to the superpowers, first and foremost the United States,” the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Thursday.

The report also said that Peres is expected to tell US President Barack Obama in an upcoming meeting that he (Peres) does not believe Israel should attack Iran in the near future.

On February 5, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu similarly warned ministers from his center-right Likud political party to avoid making statements on a possible military attack against Iran, saying such remarks could be damaging to Israel.

“The chatter causes extensive damage, puts Israel on the frontline and impedes the sanction efforts,” Netanyahu said during a Likud ministerial meeting in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

On February 2, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that if the Western sanctions imposed against Iran failed to stop its nuclear program, military action against the country must be put on agenda.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon has also threatened Iran with a military strike against its nuclear facilities.

Speaking at the 12th Annual Herzliya Conference in Israel on February 2, Ya’alon said that Iran’s atomic sites are “within striking distance,” adding that, “any facility defended by a human being can be penetrated.”

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program. Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the “option” of a military strike against its nuclear facilities.

Iran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.


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