'Exert greater pressure on Iran but avoid bloodshed'

Speaking at the fifth Negev Conference, President Peres says Israel must go hand in hand with the US with regard to the Iranian threat.

Peres 370 (Marc) (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Peres 370 (Marc)
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Israel should go hand in hand with the Americans in matters pertaining to Iran, President Shimon Peres said in Beersheba on Tuesday. Peres was speaking at the fifth Negev Conference held under the auspices of Vice Premier and Minister for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee Silvan Shalom who was raised in the region.
The US is working towards intensification of sanctions and the exertion of more pressure on Iran, Peres noted, adding that there was no doubt that the preferred solution to the prevention of a nuclear Iran was one in which bloodshed could be avoided.
Peres underscored that Iran is not just an Israeli or American problem, or one that occupies the attention of the major powers. It is a problem that affects the entire world he said, because Iran poses a danger to the whole world. It funds and arms global terror, and sends its envoys throughout the world to foment terror, Peres continued.
With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Peres reiterated his frequently expressed conviction that the gaps between the two sides are much smaller than is generally realized and that they can easily be bridged.
Peres also expressed concern at the wave of violence that has begun to engulf the nation. He is shocked whenever he watches the television news or reads a newspaper, he said. He also urged all sectors of society to unite in the effort to preserve the rule of law.
As for the Negev, Peres as a disciple of Ben Gurion's, is interested in seeing it bloom but not just in terms of demography. It is essential to build up the Negev so that it would be more attractive to young people he said. He suggested that this could be done by increasing the number of army bases, providing quality education at all levels from kindergarten through university, and investing more in infrastructure and public transport.
The important thing, he emphasized, was to continue to expand on Ben Gurion's vision.