FM: We have no illusions on Iran's nukes

US Secretary of Homeland Security signs travel agreement with Liberman, discusses cyber terrorism with Peres.

May 20, 2012 15:37
2 minute read.
Avigdor Liberman with Janet Napolitano.

Avigdor Liberman with Janet Napolitano 370. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir)


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Israel and the international community see no Iranian intention to give up its nuclear program, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday following a meeting with US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

"There are no illusions on Iran's intentions on its nuclear program," he said. "We see no Iranian intention to give up its nuclear ambitions."

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"I think the international community has no illusions on Iran's willingness to give up its nuclear program," he added.

During their meeting, Napolitano and Liberman signed an agreement adding Israel to America's Global Entry program, making it easier for holders of Israeli passports to receive clearance in order to enter the US.

Instead of waiting for an hour and a half for customs clearance at point of entry to the US, Napolitano explained to President Shimon Peres at the signing of the agreement, they will be whisked through in minutes.

While adding Israel to the US list was an important part of her visit, Napolitano told Peres during their meeting at the King David Hotel that cyber terrorism and how to combat it was the main focus of her visit.

A large entourage escorted the secretary of homeland security that included US Ambassador Dan Shapiro and Israel's Ambassador to the US Michael Oren.

The US relationship with Israel is "strong and robust" said Napolitano, citing various offices in her own department that interact with different Israelis ministries, providing multiple opportunities for cooperation on both sides. Scientists have been talking to their Israeli counterparts about explosives, she said.


The challenge of cyber terrorism was an important area for cooperation Napolitano declared, pointing out that "security, commerce, trade and travel do not have to be opposing forces.

"If you're smart about security it will  facilitate commerce and travel," she said.

Peres told Napolitano that her position was one of the most sensitive in the administration.  He drew a parallel between economics and security, saying that what has happened globally with regard to the economy can also be applied to security.

Nowadays, he said, "Security depends more on arms than the size of the army. You have a global economy without a global government and global terror without global security."

Globality, he continued, makes national governments weaker with the result that people respect them less, and this leads to chaotic danger that depends on disorganized coalitions.

"You have to be alert every morning," Peres cautioned Napolitano.

Turning to Israel's disagreements with Iran over the latter's nuclear program, Peres emphasized the importance of trying to avoid bloodshed in finding a solution, "but not to give up on the essence." Israel isn't looking for enemies, he said, "but we can't close our eyes to danger."

The greatest danger he said, was posed by unorganized terror groups around the world, and the only solution to this problem is a broad-based coalition that will fight terror on all fronts."

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