14 Apr 2009
ISRAELI president Shimon Peres warned last night that military action against Iran would still be needed if Barack Obama’s new diplomatic initiative fails to stop its nuclear programme.
He said he hoped Mr Obama’s call for dialogue with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be heeded. But he warned that if talks do not soften Mr Ahmadinejad’s approach, ‘we’ll strike him’.
The Obama administration announced last week that it would take part in talks between a group of countries and Iran over its nuclear programme.
It was a significant shift from President Bush’s policy toward a nation he labelled part of an ‘axis of evil’.
Iran insists the programme is a civilian one, but many countries fear it wants to produce weapons.
An aide to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that ‘ Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons could quite possibly be the single most serious issue that faces the international community’.
Mr Peres admitted, however, that Israel could not take action without U.S. support, adding: ‘We definitely can’t go against the U.S.’