President Shimon Peres addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, and warned of the danger posed by Iran’s nuclear program – not only to Israel, but to the rest of the international community as well.
“Iran wants to rule over the Middle East, and no country wants that to happen,” Peres said. “Iran is a center of terror; it distributes weapons and terror across the world. Iran is not exclusively an Israeli problem but a problem for the entire world.”
Although Israel has in the past indicated that the current US-led sanctions regime against Tehran is lacking in bite, the president expressed confidence that “President Obama’s policies with regards to Iran are correct.”
Obama, he said, “is leading a serious, responsible and just coalition against Iran; the Iranian nation is feeling the impact of economic sanctions.”
Speaking of the Arab Spring, which has been restructuring the politics of the region over the past two years, Peres noted that “Today it is almost impossible to be a dictator in the Middle East.”
The president called on the Arab League to assemble a “special military force, with a UN mandate,” which, he said, would be responsible for “maintaining peace and ending the bloodshed” in Syria.
“The issue is urgent, as innocent people are being killed every day,” Peres said.
Earlier, the president met with the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, and thanked the head of the UN watchdog for his organization’s assistance in the international community’s bid to deny Tehran a nuclear weapon.
“I know that you are investing great efforts and acting with wisdom and good faith to make the world a safer place.” Peres said, according to a press release. “I cannot predict how things will change in Iran. Iran is a serious threat and it must understand that the world is serious in its intentions and that all options are on the table.”
The elder statesmen is mostly remembered at Davos for bearing the brunt of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rage in 2009 over Israel’s Operation Cast Lead offensive in Gaza. At that meeting, in a heated exchange onstage, Erdogan accused Peres of being a killer.