Peres: I’d Meet With Iran’s Rouhani


peres“Why not? I don’t have enemies; it’s not a matter of a person but of a policy. The purpose is to convert enemies into friends,” said Israeli President Shimon Peres in answer to a question by CNN host Richard Quest at the opening session of the “Globes” 2013 Israel Business Conference, if he would be willing to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “If it was only him I’d take it with greater assurance but there are other structures, other people. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, half army and half organization, spreads terror all over the world and I’m not so sure they support the president. We have to see the balance of the situation.”

Peres opened his remarks with a tribute to Nelson Mandela, saying, “He is the only man whom I knew that we should want to be like. He is a shining example. He walked on the enlightened side of our lives.”

Asked about Israel’s complex relations with Mandela, Peres said, “We met several times on very friendly terms.”

Peres and Quest discussed Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians. Peres said, “We’re still negotiating. If it was concluded we would have to negotiate. There are two major problems; Israel’s security after our experience when we left Gaza which made many Israelis reluctant to do likewise in the West Bank. On the other hand is the problem of our existence as a Jewish state, a state where the Jewish people are a majority. It’s not a matter of declarations; it’s a matter of numbers.”


{ Israel}