Peres: World Doesn't Need Military Assault on Iran Nuclear Program

Speaking to CNN, President advocates for 'moral attack' on Tehran; Peres also rejects notion that Israel stands alone in facing Tehran's nuclear program, says Iran is as global an issue as the economic crisis.

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The international community should engage in a "moral" attack on Iran, not a military one, President Shimon Peres said in an interview on Monday, adding that Tehran's support of terror was as much a global concern as the economic crisis.

Peres' comments came after the United Nation's nuclear watchdog released a report last week, which stated there was evidence that Iran was working to achieve nuclear weapon capabilities.

Benjamin Netanyahu, left, with Shimon Peres.Credit: Tess Scheflan

Israel and the United States have said the report proved that the world needed to do more to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, urging fiercer sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Speaking to CNN's Pierce Morgan on Monday, Peres said that he felt a military option was not the first option at hand to thwart Iran's race for a nuclear bomb, saying he "wouldn't suggest to start immediately with a military operation."

"I would rather prefer to see tighter economic sanctions, closer political pressure and what is lacking very much is an attack in the moral sense," the president said, calling Iran "a spoiled country, it's morally corrupt."

"They are the only country threatening to destroy another country, openly. They arrest the opposition, they shoot around, they spread arms, they encourage every center of terror all over the world," Peres added.

Peres also rejected the notion that Israel would act alone against Iran's nuclear program, saying that "Israel will first of all see what the world is doing."

"We don't want to jump alone, we are part of the civilization of the family of internationally responsible countries and we expect that leaders that make a promise will fulfill it," he added.

The president also reiterated the Israeli position that Iran was not an exclusively Israeli problem, saying that the menace of Iran's terror network was as global as the economic crisis.

"It's a danger. And today terror is a global matter, very much like the economy. They can arrive, [like in] 9/11, to New York, they can arrive to Chechnya, they can arrive to Moscow. It's mobile and it's dangerous," he said, adding, "So I dont think we have to feel alone in that respect."

Earlier this week, Iran acknowledged for the first time that it has been the target of a new computer virus designed to do damage to its computers.

The admission was made by Iran's civil defense chief, General Gholam Reza Jalali. He told the official Iranian news agency that computer experts were able to identify the virus, called Duqu, and bring it under control.

The Iranians, Jalali said, developed software capable of controlling the virus and a special unit that works to defend the country against cyber attacks has been working around the clock.

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: פרס: לא הייתי מציע להתחיל מיידית במבצע צבאי באיראן



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