Israel welcomes the initiative of the EU to intensify sanctions against Iran,
President Shimon Peres told Prime Minister Mario Monti in Italy on
The two men were holding a working session within the framework
of the annual International Ambrosetti Economic Forum at Villa d’Este on the
shores of Lake Como.
Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi briefed Peres
on Rome’s position on Iran. Terzi visited Israel
last week before the
president’s departure for Italy.
Monti told Peres that Italy was duty
bound to prevent Iran from building its nuclear arsenal.
The two leaders
agreed that every possible non-military pressure tactic should be exerted on
Tehran with the aim of persuading its government to backtrack on its nuclear
project, but if all options failed, a military solution should remain on the
Peres said he was glad to see that Italy was part of the troika
(together with Germany and France), which was leading the EU toward the
imposition of tougher sanctions against Iran.
Peres emphasized the
importance of a united front in battling the Iranian nuclear threat. He also
discussed with Monti the dramatic move on Friday by Canada in severing
diplomatic relations with Iran, and said that in addition to such steps severe
economic pressure should be placed on the Islamic Republic in the oil and
Peres and Monti are longtime friends with a strong
mutual respect. Peres particularly admires Monti’s savvy in the field of
He congratulated Monti on initiatives that he had undertaken
within the EU and for the future of Italy, and voiced the hope that Europe would
soon emerge from its economic crisis. Monti said that there were already faint
signs of recovery.