Peres: Israel won't attack Iran alone

In interview to 'Le Figaro,' president says if sanctions fail, all "non-military options" are on table.

Peres 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Peres 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel is not considering any unilateral military operation to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, President Shimon Peres said in an interview published by the French newspaper, Le Figaro on Saturday. "I would prefer to stop the development of the atomic bomb without getting thrown into a war," Peres said, adding that as in the case with South Africa, Libya, and North Korea, "sanctions have proven in the past to be effective." The UN Security Council approved new sanctions against the Islamic state last Monday, the third round of sanctions it has imposed on Iran for rejecting UN demands for an enrichment suspension. For the first time, the resolution bans trade with Iran in goods which have both civilian and military uses and authorizes inspections of shipments to and from Iran by sea and air that are suspected of carrying banned items. However, should sanctions fail to convince the Iranians to halt their nuclear program, Peres said that Israel would use all available "non-military" options. When asked if Israel would on its own to prevent Iran from going nuclear, the president responded with an emphatic, "not a chance." "We are not so hasty that we will increase the Iranian threat against Israel," Peres said. "We are talking about a world problem. It is a fact that Iran possesses long-range missiles, which make it not just a problem for Israel." During the interview, Peres also accused Iran of trying to increase its influence in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. "We cannot shut our eyes," the president warned. "If a small group of terrorists are able to arm themselves with nuclear weapons, then the hold world will lose control."