Peres Threatens Iran With ‘Nuclear Response’; Ahmadinejad: West Controlled by Israel Lobby
Israeli President Shimon Peres says the best way to deter Iran from continuing its nuclear program is to threaten it with a ‘nuclear response’.
He accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, saying that a conventional military attack could not halt Tehran’s nuclear program.
“Simply attacking the nuclear facilities is not the be-all and end-all,” Peres told Israel’s Channel Ten on Wednesday.
“There are other options for the West, or the coalition that arises. The first thing is to tell the Iranians … ‘If you use a nuclear weapon — no matter against whom — you’ll get a nuclear response,” Reuters quoted Peres as saying.
“You can destroy the (uranium enrichment) centrifuges but you cannot destroy the knowledge about building centrifuges,” he said.
Israel, which is believed to be the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, has repeatedly accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran, however, says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.
Congress is taking up a bipartisan proposal which would give the Obama administration more leverage over Iran by toughening economic sanctions on foreign oil and shipping firms that aid Tehran.
A group of Democrats and Republicans introduced legislation Tuesday that would give the president expanded authority to crack down on companies that export gasoline and other refined petroleum products to Iran.
The Senate bill is expected to pass because it has broad support from both Republicans and Democrats and is not opposed by the White House. A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the House.
Administration officials have signaled they would not block the proposal despite recent U.S. overtures to Iran. President Barack Obama and senior U.S. diplomats have directly appealed for Iran to cooperate in talks over the country’s feared nuclear buildup. >>>
Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticizes the West’s political arena which is dominated by Israeli lobbies with Zionist tendencies.
“In a liberal democracy, individuals and political parties take advantage of the inclinations of certain groups to the point that you see the president of a vast country succumb to the wishes of a Zionist, aggressive and murderous minority,” said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Addressing a large crowd who had gathered to hear his speech in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz on Wednesday, the president added that people had ‘no real say’ in the West as power was locked into a cycle among the same two or three parties.
Ahmadinejad’s comments seemed to be more directed at the United States where, between them, the Republican and Democratic parties have shared power since 1853.
“In close contact with the people of these countries, you find that what they say is different [from what the parties’ say.] For example, they hate and oppose the Zionist regime, while their governments are totally at its service,” he said.
According a 2006 article published by The Washington Post, pro-Israel interests contributed USD 56.8 million in individual, group and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees between 1990 and 2006.
However, in their famous book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, political experts and authors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt write that in the same period, Arab-Americans and Muslim PACs contributed slightly less than USD 800,000.
A new poll carried out in the United States has unveiled that a majority of Americans favor improved ties with Iran.
The poll conducted by The New York Times shows that Americans support the US President, Barack Obama’s, overtures to Tehran, with 53 percent of them favoring establishing diplomatic relations with Tehran.
Obama has called for direct engagement with Iran as part of efforts to end the West’s standoff with Tehran over its nuclear program.
Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has welcomed the goodwill gesture by the new US administration but has urged Washington to make real changes in its foreign policy rather than just paying lip service.
This is while the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, recently declared that Washington has not added or removed any conditions for its talks with Tehran, compared to that of the Bush administration, hinting that the US still wants Tehran to suspend its nuclear enrichment program before any talks.
Iran has said that it will not accept such a precondition.
A new commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has vowed strong commitment to enhancing Iran’s military might even further.
“Guaranteeing Iran’s full readiness to counter any threat is the duty of all [IRGC] commanders and ranks,” Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour said.
Pakpour was named Commander of the IRGC Ground Force in a ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday. Pakpour replaced Brig. Gen. Mohammad-Jaafar Asadi.
Pakpour has held several key posts in the IRGC key divisions.
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