'No talks with Iran before elections'

Peres warns Obama against negotiations with current Iranian gov't; says Israel isn't planning attack.

peres thoughtful 248.88 (photo credit: )
peres thoughtful 248.88
(photo credit: )
President Shimon Peres warned US President-elect Barack Obama against opening direct negotiations with the current Iranian government when he takes his seat at the White House. Speaking with Japanese news agency Kyodo on Friday, Peres rejected the notion that Israel would go to war with the Islamic Republic. Peres said he hoped the Obama administration would hold off on talks with senior Teheran officials at least until after "the [Iranian] elections, because it may affect the results of the elections." Regarding a potential confrontation with the country, Peres told Kyodo that "Israel doesn't intend to go to war, plain and simple." Peres insisted that Russia too could not accept a nuclear-armed Iran, but added that it refused to relinquish diplomatic means of action. "[Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin told me, I think he told many people, Russia cannot live with an Iranian bomb. They are totally against it, but they think they can prevent it by talking to Iran instead of pressing Iran." Peres also expressed his support for a Japanese plan for an agro-industrial venture in the West Bank, adding that problems with Palestinian movement could pose a problem for the project. Peres noted that the level of Palestinian terror would determine the freedom of movement. "We don't have any interest to stop development, on the contrary, we encourage it," Peres said.