Israeli President Shimon Peres and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Discuss Iran

August 18, 2009

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The Iranian issue formed a large part of the discussion. President Peres stated that "The problem with Iran is not only the desire to produce nuclear weapons, but also the character of the regime. Mr. President - I am a Jew. A large portion of my family were murdered by the Nazis, and I am unable to sit and do nothing when I hear the Iranian president calling for the destruction of Israel. From my point of view, a nuclear weapon in Iranian hands has only one meaning - a flying death camp. I am not saying that he will do that tomorrow morning, but there is no doubt that it will take place. The fact that Iran is investing billions of dollars in the development of long-range missiles, in parallel to its nuclear project, is clear indication of its intent." President Peres added that "Israel is not threatening any country in the world. We do not have territorial or political ambitions. We do not want additional lands. Iran constantly threatens not only Israel, but also the entire world. Furthermore, it is impossible to determine into whose hands the nuclear weapons will fall. Terrorist organizations operate around the world, and they do not hesitate, as you know, to use any means at their disposal."

It should be noted that during the meeting, President Peres and President Medvedev discussed the sale of Russian weapons and military hardware to countries hostile to Israel, including Iran. President Peres stressed that the sale of these weapons could damage the delicate balance of power in the region, and requested the Russian president, in the name of the State of Israel, to reconsider Russian policy in regard to this, and stressed that Israel has concrete proof of Russian weapons being transferred to terrorist organization by Iran and Syria, especially to Hamas and Hizbullah.

President Medvedev noted that "Russia is opposed to nuclear weapon s in Iranian hands - this situation worries us all, and we have no doubt that should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, it will lead to a nuclear arms race of other Middle Eastern countries. This is a very bad scenario."

President Medvedev added that in his recent meetings with U.S. President Obama, a lot of time was dedicated to this issue, and that President Obama revealed a very constructive approach to the solution of the Iranian problem.

With regard to the sale of Russian arms, President Medvedev stated that it is his intention to reexamine the Israeli request. "Russia is opposed to the selling of weapons that can violate the delicate balance in the Middle East, and we do not intend to change our position."

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