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Peres Calls Nuclear Iran a ‘Catastrophe’ for Israel

Israeli President Shimon Peres said Thursday that an Iranian regime with nuclear weapons would be a “catastrophe”, and stressed that Israel has the right to defend itself.

Peres’ statements come after Haaretz reported earlier Thursday that the president is expected to tell U.S. President Barack Obama next month that he does not believe Israel should attack Iran in the near future.

“Israel is an independent country and has the right to defend itself against dangers,” Peres said during a speech before the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem.

“A nuclear Iran would be a catastrophe,” Peres said, and noted that if Iran would attain a nuclear weapon, “it would be impossible to prevent it from exporting terror freely or stop it from controlling the world economy.”

Since early Thursday morning, Peres has received messages from officials close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressing surprise at the report that Peres was due to voice objection to Israeli attack on Iran.

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