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Shimon Peres: "We must stop the heads of the present Iranian regime"

In the keynote address at the inaugural session of the annual Herzliya Conference, Shimon Peres, president of the state of Israel implied that the world should reconsider its ties with Tehran. "No option should be ruled out in dealing with the Iranian danger. It is an existential danger… It is the duty of the international community to prevent the combination of evil and the atom."
The president called Iran "the most morally corrupt government in the world" saying, "The current leadership of Iran executes people because of their opinions. It finances and trains terrorists who will sow the seeds of terror and murder across the world." He added, "The main problem of the world is Iran."

In continuing to discuss the Iranian situation, Peres noted "Iran is trying to equip itself with weapons of mass destruction to scare many and to achieve its imperialistic ambitions which take on a religious guise… Nuclear weapons must not be allowed in the regime of the ayatollahs in Iran."

Peres was clear, "At the end of the day there is no future for the present Iranian leadership. It only offers destruction for the future. It threatens civil rights and peace between countries."

Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Peres expressed his confidence in the Palestinian leadership as reliable partners for peace, "I believe that President Abu Mazen and Prime Minister Fayyad are worthy partners for peace and do not want the conflict to continue. I know from the conversations I've had with them. That is their primary hope. The relationship between us is in a state of flux." He added, "There is a national consensus between us and between them that allows us to achieve peace based on the solution of two countries for two peoples – a Jewish country, Israel, and an Arab country, Palestine."

Speaking decisively, Peres expressed his support for continues negotiations with Fatah, "Any delay of negotiations could reinforce Hamas… At this moment a possibility is developing that seems impossible to comprehend. Hamas, a terror organization that is against peace and against negotiations will get a lot of international money while Fatah, the organization that believes in dialogue will lose its funding. Today Hamas is promised donations of close to a billion dollars a year without being required to stop terrorism or to prevent the Gaza Strip from becoming a forward base for the terrorism of Tehran." He concluded, "There's not a lot of time left".