It appears that President Barack Obama does not intend to free Jonathan Pollard.
"Our position has not changed and will not change today," White House Spokesman Jay Carney told journalists at a daily briefing Wednesday when asked about the subject. "I would simply remind you that Mr. Pollard was convicted of very serious crimes."
In his meeting with his American counterpart Wednesday, President Peres will ask Obama to grant a pardon for Jonathan Pollard on humanitarian grounds.
In a Fox News interview, President Peres made it clear that he would not ask that President Obama pardon Pollard, only that his sentence be reduced to the time already served.
Pollard, incarcerated for some 27 years on a single charge of passing classified information to an ally (Israel), has been in increasingly poor health. He was hospitalized several times over the past year, including for emergency surgery.
Peres has said he will discuss the issue of a pardon for Pollard with Obama during a private meeting. Since he is himself a president who has the ability to grant pardons, Peres said, he understands the many concerns involved.