While pundits pontificate over what will be discussed between US President Barack Obama and Israel's leadership when Obama arrives in Jerusalem next month, President Shimon Peres left no doubt that Iran will be one of the key topics on the table.
In a wide ranging address on Monday to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations which is convening in Israel this week, Peres said that "Israel is the candidate at the top of the list to meet the consequences of Iranian policy."
Peres reiterated his previously expressed belief that Obama is serious in his determination to prevent an Iranian nuclear state from becoming a fact. In preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power said Peres, the US is acting not only on behalf of Israel, "but because of security in our times."
The other issue to be explored during the Obama visit centers on the chances for peace said Peres. who was hopeful that Obama's visit "will open a new chapter" not only in American-Israeli , which he declared to be unique despite occasional differences, but also in relations between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and Jordan. Peres was optimistic about the possibility of renewing dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians on the one hand, and Israel, the Palestinians and the Jordanians on the other. "I believe there is a chance," he said. "In spite of our differences, we want to live in peace. I don't expect this to happen in one visit, but it will be a beginning."