President Shimon Peres at AIPAC Conference 390 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
President Shimon Peres on Monday praised US President Barack Obama's speech to the AIPAC annual policy conference, saying he had offered the maximum support for Israel that an American president could possibly offer.
Peres told Army Radio that Obama made clear that the "security of Israel is a national American interest." He added that it would be preposterous to expect Obama to give a timetable for possible military action against Iran.
"I don't expect someone to say when they will do this, and when they will do that, not us or them. It's not done," Peres stated. "He didn't talk about dates, but he spoke about actions," the president added.
Peres said that he appreciated that Obama refrained from giving Israel instructions, or even giving the appearance that he was telling Israel what to do.
The president also expressed satisfaction with Obama's assertion that diplomacy as a means to solve the Iranian nuclear threat had not been exhausted.
"There is the possibility that sanctions will still be effective. Better the Iranian issue end with sanctions than war," Peres said in the Army Radio interview.
Obama was scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday. Iran is expected to be the focus of the two leaders discussion.
Immediately following the US president's AIPAC speech, Netanyahu praised Obama
for highlighting Israel's right to defend itself and for his comments that Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.