Monday, July 23, 2012
President Shimon Peres: Iran in "open war" with Israel
Peres said Israel had "enough" hard intelligence to link the Bulgaria attack to Iran and its proxy Hezbollah and believes more attacks are being planned as part of what he called an "open war against Israel."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Iran and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah movement were responsible for a number of attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli targets in Thailand, Georgia, India, Greece, Cyprus and other countries.
Asked whether the Bulgaria bombing and the other attempted attacks were revenge for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, which Iran blames on Israel, Peres said that Israel has never claimed responsibility for the killings. But he noted that Israel has a right to prevent killing of its citizens.
"We don't have an initiative of terror," Peres said. "We don't do it. But self-defense is the right and the must of every people."
He said Israel's policy was one of "prevention," rather than "retaliation."
"If you have enough information about a certain person which is a ticking clock that can explode a bomb that can endanger civilian life, clearly you have to prevent him from doing so," Peres said, citing reports that the United States has killed as many as 3,000 people in drone strikes aimed at terrorist enclaves.
With neighboring Syria in a spiral of violence, Peres said Israel will be forced to seize Syria's chemical weapons if there is a risk President Bashar al-Assad would use them against Israel or that the arsenal could fall into terrorist hands.