Speaking with U.S. National Public Radio on Monday, President Shimon Peres said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad is an "unbelievable joke."
In apparent explanation of this strange accusation, Peres went on to express doubt that the Iranian leader was as religious as he claimed to be. It appears he "worships the bomb more than he worships Allah," Peres said.
Elected as Israel's President just last month, Peres cited Iran's high unemployment and inflation, and said that all attention there is turned to the bomb. "But people cannot live on a bomb," Peres said, adding that a united international front could prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear power.
In the past, Peres has been more threatening, warning Ahmedinajad not to forget that in light of his threats against Israel, "he, too, can be wiped off the map."
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, on her way to Egypt and Saudi Arabia with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, accused Iran of "destabilizing" the Middle East. The U.S. has promised tens of billions of dollars to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Iran charged that the U.S. was trying to create fear, mistrust and destabilization in the Middle East. Rice's remarks were in response to the Iranian criticism.
Meanwhile, the United Nations continues to demand, verbally, an end to Iran's nuclear uranium-enrichment program. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said he is considering visiting Iran, "which has a significant role in regional and international developments."