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Peres Says Oil Price Cut Can Stop Iran's Nuclear Program

President Shimon Peres says Israel has no need to attack Iran “at this stage,” pushes comprehensive peace deal with entire Middle East.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/9/2008, 6:40 PM

President Shimon Peres visited the Israeli Arab city of Sakhnin in the Galilee on Tuesday in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Adha and spoke on Israel's response to Iran's nuclear program and his views on regional peace.

“There is no need to use military force against Iran at this stage,” Peres told his audience. Instead, he said, Israel must work with the United States, Europe and China to reduce the price of oil, thus depleting Iran's economy and leaving it without resources to pursue nuclear bombs and other weapons.

"Iran's unlawful behavior is not a result of western pacifism, but rather of western division,” Peres said. “If the West had taken a united stance regarding Iran, Iran's nuclear program would not have made it this far.”

He called on Iranian leaders to focus on social problems and not military development, saying, “Iran's leaders must ask themselves what the children will eat tomorrow morning. What will they give them, uranium?” Nuclear development will not solve Iran's problems, he said.

Peres also took the opportunity to promote a region-wide peace deal, saying, “We cannot take too much more time to arrive at a comprehensive peace agreement with the entire Middle East.” Peres has been vocal in his support for a regional peace pact based roughly on the 2002 Saudi Initiative.