President Shimon Peres said on Monday that a clash between Iran and the Sunni nations of the Arab world was "inevitable."

"The collision between the Middle East, which is Sunni Arab, and the Iranian minority that seeks to take it over, is inevitable," said Peres.

The president's comments came amid a diplomatic spat between Egypt and Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy. Iran was reportedly behind the plotting of attacks against Egyptian targets by a group of alleged Hezbollah agents Egypt arrested last week.

Peres added: "Sooner or later, the world will discover that Iran has the aspiration to take over the Middle East and that it posses colonial ambitions."

He made the comments after meeting with Israel's Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, Yona Metzger.

Earlier Monday, Peres told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday that Israel hoped every nation in the Middle East would attain freedom.

"The people of Israel want peace," Peres told the Palestinian leader by phone. "On the eve of the festival of Pesach, we are all praying for peace and freedom for every people in the region, and one must not lose hope on the way to peace."

Pesach, or Passover, is a Jewish holiday commemorating the Israelites' escape from enslavement in Egypt; as such, it is also known as the "Festival of Freedom."

Abbas, who called Peres, said: "I want to wish you and the people of Israel a happy Pesach holiday."

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Abbas that he planned to cooperate with him in order to advance mutual peace efforts.

Abbas has recently said the new Israeli government would have to accept the creation of a Palestinian state, stop construction in settlements and remove West Bank roadblocks before the Palestinian Authority could resume peace negotiations.