Speculation that Israel has atomic weapons at its nuclear plant in Dimona can serve as deterrent enough to temper the aggression of the Jewish State's enemies, including Iran, President Shimon Peres said Tuesday.

Speaking at a Jerusalem meeting of ambassadors and consuls serving abroad, the president said that "Iran is very dangerous, but there's no need to get hysterical about the threat it poses."



"Israel has been in worse positions," he said, citing as an example the War of Independence, in which Israel emerged triumphant despite ammunition and manpower shortages.

It was important, he implied, for Israel's enemies to believe that Israel had the upper hand. In this context he referred to Israel's plant in Dimona. For years no one knew exactly what was going on in Dimona, the president said. People guessed but they didn't know for a fact, and imagination, Peres added, was a sufficient deterrent.

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Likewise today, no one knows to what extent Israel is capable of dealing with Iran, but with the reputation that Israel has in science and technology, it is imagined that Israel can take care of the Iran problem if necessary, he stated.

As he has done many times before, Peres said that Israel should renew negotiations with the Palestinians. Even if the negotiations make slow headway, he said, they will serve  to change perceptions of Israel as an occupying power.

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Iranian threat

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