'Of course Israel wants the sanctions to succeed'

On eve of meeting Obama, Peres says, "there are no differences of opinion- along these lines Obama has best record."

March 4, 2012 10:57
2 minute read.
President Shimon Peres at Herzliya Conference

President Shimon Peres at Herzliya Conf 390. (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)

Of course Israel wants the sanctions to succeed, President Shimon Peres told reporters Saturday night, on the eve of his meeting with US President Barack Obama.

"I don't think that we need to give (reveal our) plans for the entire coming period. In that stage there are sanctions, and we need them to work, to see if they're working, and after we'll talk further," he added. "There are no differences of opinion on the topic of security - President Obama has done almost everything we have asked. Along those lines, he is the president with the best record."

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Peres is due to meet privately with Obama at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday in Washington, after both presidents have delivered their AIPAC addresses, and Peres has received his lifetime achievement award.

A short documentary about Peres will be screened before Obama’s address to the 12,000 people attending the AIPAC conference.

On arrival at Blair House – the US presidential guest house – on Friday, just before Shabbat, Peres said that his meeting with Obama would be frank and friendly and would cover the issues that are important to both their countries and the world at large.

The main topics of their discussion said Peres, would be the danger of a nuclear Iran, completing the peace process with the Palestinians and the general situation in the Middle East. Peres said that he was also grateful for the opportunity to personally thank the president for America’s continued strategic alliance with Israel.

Peres will be joined on Sunday by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is currently in Ottawa for meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other high-ranking officials.

According to a report in the British Telegraph on Sunday, Netanyahu intends to present Obama with an ultimatum on Iran.

According to the report, Netanyahu will say that the only way Obama prevent a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran is to pledge that the US will attack the nuclear sites before the Islamic Republic can acquire a weapon.

"Military planners have concluded that never before has the timing for a unilateral military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities been so auspicious," the report cites a source close to Israel's security establishment as saying.

In particular, the tumult in Syria, Iran's longtime ally, has changed Israel's calculations. Syria, mired in suppressing an uprising, is less able to help Iran project its power through the region.

This year's AIPAC conference will feature a number of high level speakers, including Peres and Netanyahu, Obama, and video feeds of US Republican candidates Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich.

Government sources have said that Netanyahu will "break new ground" in his speech, which is expected to address both Iran's nuclear program and the stymied diplomatic process with the Palestinians.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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