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Croatian president Stipe Mesic says he is resisting what he termed "heavy pressure" to visit Iran until Teheran stops denying the Holocaust and calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.
The president made the comments in talks in Zagreb with visiting Vice Premier Shimon Peres.
Peres thanked Mesic for his stand and told him the regime in Iran is a dangerous mix of terror, religious fundamentalism and efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. He added that steadfastness by the international community and economic sanctions will prevent a nuclear Iran and the need for war.
Peres said Israel and Croatia were keen to nurture mutual relations, after years of Jerusalem shunning the Balkan country because of past nationalism reminiscent of its World War II regime.
He said ties between the two nations are in very good shape. "I think both governments are very interested in having (the relations) developed into something serious and important for the future," he told reporters before meeting Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.
AP contributed to this report.
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