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      Shimon Peres: Deal's Success In The Hands of Iranian People

      President releases statement approaching deal with caution; qualifies deal's possible success with warning that strike still on table.
      By Tova Dvorin
      First Publish: 11/24/2013, 1:17 PM

      President Shimon Peres released a statement Sunday regarding the deal reached between Iran and P5+1 powers Saturday night.

      Peres, unlike other Israeli government officials, did not reject the deal outright. He did express some reservations, however. "Last night a deal was signed between the P5+1 and Iran. This is an interim deal," Peres emphasized that "[t]he success or failure of the deal will be judged by results, not by words."

      Peres then placed the responsibility for the deal's success not with the leadership - but with the people. "I would like to say to the Iranian people: You are not our enemies and we are not yours. There is a possibility to solve this issue diplomatically. It is in your hands. Reject terrorism. Stop the nuclear program. Stop the development of long-range missiles," he urged.  

      The President also related to the Prime Minister's stance, which supports the event of a military strike if the need arises. "Israel - like others in the international community - prefers a diplomatic solution. But I want to remind everyone of what President Obama said, and what I have personally heard from other leaders: the international community will not tolerate a nuclear Iran," Peres stated. 

      "If the diplomatic path fails, the nuclear option will be prevented by other means. The alternative is far worse."

      Peres's comments follow a host of mixed reactions from Israeli leaders, ranging from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's sharp condemnation of the move - whereby he called the deal "a historic mistake" - to statements of neutrality or even approval.

      Both Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman have confirmed that the Israeli response may still include a military strike on the Islamic republic.