Israel and Germany in total accord on Iran

Israel-Germany accord on

While Germany and Israel may not see eye to eye on construction in Gilo, they are in total accord when it comes to Iran. The Iranian issue was without dispute in the discussions between President Shimon Peres and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Peres told Westerwelle that it was "unacceptable" for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to go around calling for the destruction of a country, and Westerwelle in turn told Peres that "it is absolutely clear that nuclear weapons in the hands of the government of Iran is not an acceptable option." This was not only in the interests of the Middle East, he said, but also the whole of the international community. Peres expressed appreciation for "the clear position" taken by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German Government, and said of Merkel: "She gained the appreciation of all of us." As for the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Peres hinted that "we are on the threshold" of new developments, but did not spell out what these were in the presence of reporters. "We are very close to success or failure," he said, adding "I hope we will turn in the right direction." The political differences have been minimized, he said, whereas the psychological differences have been maximized. In the present crisis, he explained, psychology is a significant consideration, "so we have to be very careful and wise." Peres asserted that the chasm between Israel and the Palestinians shallow enough to be bridged at present, adding that most Israelis supported the two-state solution. As for European policy concerning the Middle East, Peres said: "We would like to see European policy that contains both positive and negative elements. We want it to be positive for peace, negative on terror."