Iran Poses Dangerous Threat, Peres Tells ADL
Jerusalem, May 9, 2005 … Iran poses a grave security threat to Israel and the greater Middle East, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres told members of an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) leadership mission visiting Jerusalem.
"Iran is the most dangerous country around, because the mullahs believe their religion is superior, not unlike Hitler believing the Aryan race superior," Mr. Peres told the ADL leaders. "Iran's nuclear capability is in the hands of the Muslim fundamentalists and terrorists who are opposed to modernity."
The ADL leadership mission led by Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, National Director was in Israel after participating in the March of the Living in Poland marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the camps and defeat of the Nazis.
The delegation met Monday with several high ranking Israeli government leaders, including Mr. Peres, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, and Jeremy Issacharoff, the Deputy Director-General of Strategic Affairs in the Foreign Ministry.
On Iraq, Mr. Peres said that, "it was necessary to remove Saddam Hussein, and no on else could do it but the Americans."
Mr. Peres also discussed the difficulties Israel anticipates in the weeks and months ahead as the government moves toward implementation of its plan to disengage from Gaza while continuing to negotiate with Palestinian leaders over security and other issues.
On Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, Mr. Peres said the problems he faces in moving the peace process and democratization forward "is not because of his weakness but due to circumstances."
He cited as among the challenges facing Israel the upcoming disengagement from Gaza and its toll on the economy, globalization and the need to promote the Middle East into the new age. "Discrimination is as dangerous as occupation, so we must help our neighbors to build a strong economy, because the better they will have it, the better it will be for us," Mr. Peres said.
Citing "the centrality of the threat of Iran toward Israel," Mr. Issacharoff told of three areas of Iran's influence -- direct support and funding for Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad; support for Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon; and Iran's developing nuclear program.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.