Israeli president fears prospect of a unilateral attack on Iran
Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:11PM
I can't sleep from sheer worry about what could happen if there would be a unilateral Israeli attack.” Israeli President Shimon PeresThe Israeli president has spoken out against any possible attack on Iran, saying the prospect of a unilateral attack on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy facilities keeps him awake at night. “I can't sleep from sheer worry about what could happen if there would be a unilateral Israeli attack,” Shimon Peres told the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot on Sunday. Peres reiterated that Tel Aviv will need Washington’s help for a military operation against Tehran, noting that he felt "morally obliged" to make the remarks against an Israeli attack without US support.
The Israeli president also accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Minister of Military Affairs Ehud Barak of creating "unnecessary hysteria and panic" among the Israeli public.On Thursday, Peres criticized the talk of unilateral strike on Iran, saying that Obama convinced him that "this is an American interest" to halt Iran's nuclear energy program. He also expressed confidence in Obama's attempts to prevent the Islamic Republic from enriching uranium on its soil. The remarks came amid Israeli media reports that Netanyahu and Barak might be weighing the option of a unilateral strike even before the US presidential elections in November. The Israeli public has already reacted to this by staging anti-war protests in Tel Aviv. A recent poll conducted on Jewish Israelis suggested that 61 percent of those questioned oppose an Israeli strike, compared to 27 percent in favor. Tel Aviv has repeatedly threatened Iran with a military strike, saying that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iranian officials have promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East. Iran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes. MN/AS