News24

Peres: Israel 'supports' Obama on Iran

2012-06-14 10:12

Washington - Israeli President Shimon Peres told US President Barack Obama on Wednesday that the Jewish state supports his effort to meet the "immediate threat" posed by Iran's nuclear programme.

"The Iranian people are not our enemies, it is the present leadership that became a threat. It turned Iran into a danger to world peace," Peres said after being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour, by Obama.

"It is a leadership that aims to rule the Middle East, spreading terror ... they are trying to build a nuclear bomb.

"They bring darkness to a world longing for light."

"The Iranian threat must be stopped," Peres said, praising Obama for working "so hard" to build a global coalition to meet the "immediate threat" posed by a nuclear programme that Tehran denies is the basis for a weapons programme.

"Clearly, we support you and your cause."

Despite the endorsement of Peres, there have been clear differences between the Obama administration and the Israeli government on how to approach Iran, and Washington is believed to have urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to carry out a unilateral military strike on Iranian nuclear sites.