"Israel and the world are under the threat of Iran which does not hesitate to threaten to use nuclear weapons. One cannot separate the country’s nuclear program from the nature of its regime."
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Shimon Peres conducted a working meeting this morning with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano. The President discussed regional developments and tightening the supervision of Iran’s nuclear intentions with Mr. Amano. It was the second meeting between the two since Amano has taken office.
In a joint press statement given by the two at the beginning of the meeting, President Peres said: "Let me start with a personal compliment: Since you have taken office as Director General of the IAEA we feel a sense of professionalism, objectivity, and fairness. Your position requires someone that all sides rely upon, someone who differentiates between good and evil, between those who try to deceive the international community and those who don’t. As a result of this substantive change Israel feels has taken place at the IAEA, we can speak this morning professionally and in a friendly atmosphere. From our perspective this is a new experience."
The President addressed the Iranian issue and said: "Israel and the world are under the threat of Iran which does not hesitate to threaten to use nuclear weapons. One cannot separate the country’s nuclear program from the nature of its regime." President Peres added: "The statements of Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of Israel and denying the Holocaust are unprecedented in the diplomatic world and international community and the IAEA should treat them with the required severity."
President Peres also related to his guest Israel’s historical connection in light of the Iranian nuclear program: "We must remember that in the 62 years of our existence we were attacked seven times and that Israel is not like any other country in this regard. The world cannot close its eyes to the fact that Israel is a country that exists under constant threat."
Amano reviewed for the President IAEA’s policies and their short and long term goals for countries located near Israel as well as far away. Amano, who concludes his visit to Israel this afternoon, expressed satisfaction from his visit and in the joint statement positively stressed the conclusion of his three-day visit mentioning that he arrived the day before yesterday and had an intensive schedule. "I met with Minister Yaalon, visited the Soreq Nuclear Research Center, my hosts took me on a helicopter tour of Israel." Amino said adding that he was impressed with the abilities of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Hadassah Hospital stressing that this is a good example in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA is an international agency engaged in promoting the peaceful use and supervision of nuclear facilities and nuclear materials. Their aim is to ensure that nuclear facilities and materials are not being used for military purposes. Upon entering office in December 2009, Amano declared his intention to visit the Middle East as soon as possible. Dr. Shaul Horev, Director General of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission attended the meeting as well.