Kerry to Peres: US intent on stopping Iran nukes

Visiting US senator tells president that for the Obama administration, Iran is a strategic and not just a tactical issue.

May 1, 2012 17:07
2 minute read.
President Peres with Senator Kerry

Peres with Senator John Kerry [file]. (photo credit: Jini Agency)


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US Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations assured President Shimon Peres on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama is committed to preventing Iran from progressing with its nuclear program, which he termed a strategic issue for the United States.

Kerry, who is on one of his periodic visits to Israel and other parts of the Middle East, also discussed developments in the region and bilateral relations between the US and Israel.

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At the outset of the discussion, Peres told Kerry that it was important for most of the countries of the world to continue to work together in a united front against Iran in order to halt the development of nuclear weapons.

As he has said many times before, Peres underscored that Iran is a threat not only to Israel but to world peace. He voiced his confidence in Obama, saying that he believes that the American president is serious in his intentions and that he will honor his commitments.

With regard to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, Peres said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had delivered an inspiring address the previous day in which he had said that there was no time to wait for elections because no one could accurately predict the outcome of developments in the Middle East, and no one had any control over the new realities.

The coming months will be the most critical, said Peres, and the path to peace has to be navigated carefully and cleverly.

Turning to Egypt’s presidential campaign, Peres welcomed the assurance by former Egyptian foreign minister and exhead of the Arab League Amr Moussa that Egypt would continue to honor the peace treaty with Israel.

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This is a testing time, Peres told Kerry, who will head for Egypt from Israel.

As he was taking his leave of Peres, Kerry said that the US administration was looking forward to the ceremony in June in which Obama will present Peres with the Medal of Freedom.

Supporters of Jonathan Pollard – who has spent nearly 27 years in prison for espionage – have urged Peres not to accept the medal unless Pollard is granted freedom from incarceration.

Peres has personally appealed to Obama to release Pollard.

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