Daily Israel Report

Peres: Iran in 'Open War' with Israel

President Shimon Peres told CNN that Iran is in an “open war” with Israel and blamed regime for Bulgaria attack that killed five Israelis.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/24/2012, 10:35 AM

President Shimon Peres
President Shimon Peres
Israel news photo: Flash 90

President Shimon Peres said Monday that Iran is in an “open war” with Israel and blamed the Islamic regime and its proxy Hizbullah for last week's bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis.

Peres told CNN that Israel has "enough" hard intelligence to link the Bulgaria attack to Iran and Hizbullah and believes that more attacks are being planned, calling Iran a “center of terror.”

“Israel is not threatening Iran. Iran is threatening Israel. It’s not a war; It’s a one-sided attack,” Peres said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has placed said that Iran and Hizbullah were responsible for a number of attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli targets in Thailand, Georgia, India, Greece, Cyprus and other countries.

Asked whether the Bulgaria bombing and the other attempted attacks were revenge for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, which Iran blames on Israel, Peres said that while Israel has never claimed responsibility for the assassinations, the Jewish state has a right to defend itself and its civilian population.  

"We don't have an initiative of terror," Peres said. "We don't do it. But self-defense is the right and the must of every people," adding that Israel has always maintained a policy of "prevention," rather than "retaliation."

"If you have enough information about a certain person which is a ticking clock that can explode a bomb that can endanger civilian life, clearly you have to prevent him from doing so," Peres said, citing reports that the United States has killed as many as 3,000 people in drone strikes aimed at terrorist enclaves.

Peres continued to state that Israel would be forced to seize Syria’s cache of chemical weapons if there is a risk that President Bashar al-Assad would use them against Israel or that the arsenal could fall into the hands of terrorists.

"The use of chemical weapons is internationally forbidden... and what do you do when somebody violates the law? You fight against it," Peres told CNN. "You stop them. We shall not remain indifferent and tell them, 'Do what you want.'"

Peres said that Israel would take all necessary steps to secure Syria's chemical arsenal "[u]ntil it will stop being a danger."

Peres spoke a day after Israel marked the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by ‘Palestinian’ terrorists affiliated with Black September.

While the President refrained from going into details, he said Israel was taking necessary precautions to ensure Israeli athletes would not be targeted at the London Olympic Games, adding that if Israeli intelligence services had been at Munich, they would probably have been able to prevent the attack.