The United Nations Security Council has for 10 years said that a military nuclear program in Iran is unacceptable but may soon be forced to define what unacceptable means, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Diplomacy should be given a chance, Kissinger said after receiving the Presidential Award of Distinction from President Shimon Peres. But "the question is at what point one concludes that negotiations have reached their limit."

Those two decisions should not be made unilaterally, he said: "It is something we should all do together."

Speaking of the changing nature of the world and the Middle East, Kissinger went on to describe Israel as, in many respects, "an island of stability and domestic cohesion" in a region in the midst of uprisings.

The former US secretary of state spoke after being presented by Peres with Israel's first-ever Presidential Award of Distinction.

Prior to presenting the award, Peres praised Kissinger for his past work that brought peace to Israel and made its borders more secure.

Noting that Kissinger facilitated Israel's first peace treaty - with Egypt, and through his efforts toward peace with Syria helped create secure borders that have lasted for 40 years and ended the menacing behavior of the USSR toward Israel following the Yom Kippur War, Peres called Kissinger "one of, if not the greatest statesman" of the past century.

"You are an inspiration for those who seek peace and those who seek understanding between nations and peoples," Peres said.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger