Peres: Rouhani's rhetoric contradicts Iran's reality

Ahead of PM's meeting with Obama, president says Iran's intentions can only be tested by actions, not words.

Peres in The Hague 370 (photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
Peres in The Hague 370
(photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
What Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in his address to the UN General Assembly last week was based on a reality of lies, President Shimon Peres told a press conference at The Hague on Monday, adding that even as Rouhani was speaking, forces in Iran were at work creating nuclear bombs.
“Rouhani’s speech was nice but it was based on a false reality as Iranian centrifuges, at this very moment, continue to work and produce enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb,” Peres said. “The program to develop long-range missiles which can carry nuclear warheads is being expanded and the Revolutionary Guards continue to support terror organizations.
We listen to the speeches at the United Nations, but the only way to test Iran’s intentions is by deeds and not just words.
The Iranian nuclear threat is not just an Israeli problem but for the whole world, which doesn’t want to be threatened by one country.”
The press conference followed Peres’s address to the International Court of Justice – a forum in which Israel has been castigated on more than one occasion.
In welcoming Peres, ICJ President Judge Peter Tomka was eloquent in his praise of Peres’s long years of commitment to, and work for, peace.
“We are honored by your presence,” said Tomka. “Peace can be based on justice and solid legal foundations. Whenever we solve disputes between sovereign states, we always emphasize that the most efficient way is through negotiations. We wish your people peace and justice in a safe and secure environment with peace with your neighbors.”
Addressing the ICJ’s 11-member panel in the Peace Palace at The Hague, Peres spoke of the significance with which Israel views the work of the court in resolving conflicts between nations.
Alluding to criticisms against Israel, Peres declared that even when coping with acts of terrorism, IDF soldiers operate with the highest of values.
“IDF soldiers hold morality and justice as their highest values,” he said. “The IDF is committed to defense and peace while securing human rights and maintaining international law.”
Peres updated the court on the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, saying “we hope that they will bear fruit for the two sides, who want to live side by side in peace and security.
“Completing the negotiations is of the utmost importance – it is perhaps the last and most significant conflict between us and the Arab world.”
Peace exacts a very heavy price, he said, and spoke of the traumas suffered by Israelis living in areas where they were under constant threat and frequent barrages of rocket fire.
Commenting on the UN Security Council’s resolution on the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons, Peres said that Israel had signed an agreement not to build or use chemical weapons but had not been asked to resign the treaty. He was certain that the Israeli government, if asked to do so, would give the matter its most serious consideration.