Sunday, March 4, 2012

No US-Israel space on Iran nuclear issue: Peres

Israeli President Shimon Peres

Source: Press TV

Israeli President Shimon Peres has expressed complete faith in relations between Israel and the United States, stressing that the pair are on the same page regarding steps being taken against Iran.

Speaking at the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington on Sunday, Peres said that there is no space between the United States and the Jewish entity on Iran policy, Ha’aretz reported.

“The United States and Israel share the same goal, to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” Peres said.

He also praised Obama for his policies that have included the imposition of economic sanctions on Iran.

“President Obama made it clear that the US will not permit Iran to become nuclear,” the Israeli president said, emphasizing that Obama has also made it clear that “all options are on the table.”

The White House said on February 6 that President Obama has signed an executive order blocking all Iranian government assets in the US, including that of the Central Bank.

"I have determined that additional sanctions are warranted," Obama said in a letter to the Congress.

The measures block all property and interests belonging to the Iranian government, the Central Bank and all Iranian financial institutions that fall within US jurisdiction.

Previously, US institutions were required to reject, rather than block, such Iranian transactions.

The new executive order gives the American institutions new power to seize the assets they encounter instead of just turning them back.

The Senate Banking Committee on February 2 adopted a sweeping package of tough new sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to freeze its nuclear energy program.

The measure targets Iran's national oil and tanker firms, authorizing the US government to sanction foreign companies that buy oil from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) or have oil shipped by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).

The law would also for the first time extend sanctions on Iran's energy sector to any joint initiative anywhere in the world where the Islamic Republic is a major partner or investor.

On New Year's Eve, the US president signed into law economic sanctions against Iran's Central Bank in an apparent bid to punish foreign companies and banks that do business with Iranian financial institutions.

The bill requires foreign financial firms to make a choice between doing business with Iran's Central Bank and oil sector or with the US financial sector.

The legislation has not gone into effect yet in a bid to provide oil markets with time to adjust.

Despite the widely publicized claims by the US, Israel and some of their European allies that Iran's nuclear program may include a military aspect, Tehran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted towards nuclear weapons production.

This is while the Israeli regime is widely known to possess between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads. Furthermore, Tel Aviv refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspectors and rejects any international nuclear regulatory agreements.

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