Daily Israel Report

Peres Warns Against Hurting Relations with the U.S.

"There's not one request that Obama didn't positively respond to," says President Peres in wake of latest tension over Iran.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/15/2013, 5:14 AM

President Shimon Peres
President Shimon Peres
Flash 90

President Shimon Peres warned on Thursday against underestimating Israel’s friendship with the United States.

Peres spoke at the Ben Gurion Award ceremony, held in Tel Aviv, and related to the latest tension between Israel and the U.S. over a deal being formulated with Iran over its nuclear program.

"We must not underestimate our friendship with the United States, the relationship between the two countries is fundamental and is neither simple nor obvious,” he said.

The President noted that U.S. support for Israel is outstanding and claimed that the Obama administration has been a supporter as well.

"We are fortunate that America was and remains our friend," he said. "There is not one Israeli request that Obama did not positively respond to, including vetoing a vote on settlements in the UN Security Council, even though the U.S. has never seen the settlements as legal.”

"My friends, do not underestimate this relationship," Peres added. "We might be having a disagreement right now and if we have comments we should make them, but it is important to remember that we are not the only ones who know everything. It is my impression that America also knows certain things.”

Over the past several days, there has been a war of words between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry, as Western powers have gotten closer to reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

Talks in Geneva between Iran and six world powers ended Saturday without an agreement, but will be restarted in Geneva on November 20. Netanyahu has repeatedly warned that lifting some of the sanctions on Iran at this point would be a very bad deal.

Kerry hinted in an interview on Sunday that Netanyahu’s criticism was uncalled for, as he was unaware of the contents of the talks in Geneva.

Netanyahu hit back at Kerry in a speech at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, saying he was “continuously updated in detail” about the talks with Iran.

On Wednesday, Kerry reportedly told senators during a briefing on the talks with Iran that they should ignore Israeli warnings about Iran.