Monday, May 08, 2006

Israel: Iran can also be "wiped off the map."

The Jerusalem Post:
Vice Premier Shimon Peres said Monday in an interview to Reuters that "the president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map," Army Radio reported.

According to Peres, "Teheran is making a mockery of the international community's efforts to solve the crisis surrounding Iran's nuclear program."

"Iran presents a danger to the entire world, not just to us," Peres added. READ MORE

Peres' vehement expressions came the same day that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly wrote to US President George W. Bush proposing "new solutions" to their differences in the first letter from an Iranian leader to an American president in 27 years, government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said Monday.

The letter was sent via the Swiss Embassy in Teheran, which has a US interests section, Elham told a press conference.

In the letter, Ahmadinejad proposes "new solutions for getting out of international problems and current fragile situation of the world," Elham said.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Monday that the Iranian president's letter to Bush could create a "new diplomatic opening," but also warned that the letter did not reflect a softening in Iran's position.

Ali Larijani refused to give details of the letter's content, but said, "Perhaps it could lead to a new diplomatic opening. It needs to be given some time."

"There is a need to wait before disclosing the content of the letter, let it make its diplomatic way," Larijani said in an interview with Turkey's NTV television.

Larijani added, however, that the "tone of the letter is not something like softening."
He also warned against any US attack against Iran.

"If they have a little bit of a brain, they would not commit such a mistake," he said. "Iran is not Iraq. Iraq was a weak country, it did not have a legitimate government. Iran is a powerful country."

It is the first time that an Iranian president has written to his US counterpart since 1979, when the two countries broke relations after Iranian militants stormed the US Embassy and held the occupants hostage for more than a year.