Netanyahu Aides Fire Back at Peres Over Iran Comments
Although no decision has been made yet on whether to attack Iran, it seems a real war broke out in Jerusalem on Thursday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres over the merits and timing of such an attack.
In a succession of interviews on Thursday, Peres warned that Israel “cannot go it alone” in striking Iran. In two separate television interviews on Israel’s major commercial television channels, Peres said that while a nuclear Iran would amount to an existential threat to Israel, Israel must not act unless it first secures U.S. support for the move.
“I have no doubt that should Iran obtain nuclear weapons it would be a grave threat and that we must treat this matter very seriously,” the president said. On the reports that the U.S. considers it premature to launch an attack now, Peres said, “it is clear that we cannot do this single-handedly and that we must coordinate with America.”
One official in Jerusalem said Netanyahu was “angry and disappointed” over Peres’ remarks, adding that “Peres has forgotten what the role of president of the State of Israel entails. He has overstepped the boundaries of his authority and forgotten that he was wrong three times on national security issues.” A senior source elaborated that Peres “was wrong when he thought the Oslo Accords would herald in a new Middle East; it turned out that the peace process claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Israelis.”