Israeli President Shimon Peres reportedly plans to declare in a speech at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference that Tel Aviv does not seek to “rush into war” with Iran.
The Israeli daily Ha’aretz quoted sources close to Peres as saying that he will tell AIPAC delegates that “Israel is not rushing into war.”
According to the sources, Peres is likely to say, however, that Israel will fight a war if it is “forced upon” it.
Peres is scheduled to deliver his speech to the AIPAC after meeting with US President Barack Obama on Sunday in Washington.
Israeli officials have recently ramped up their war rhetoric against Iran, threatening the Islamic Republic with military strikes in case the US-engineered sanctions against the country fail to force Tehran into abandoning its nuclear energy program.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on February 9 that, ”Israel has a large selection of ways, when the world of international sanctions fails to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program.”
US President Obama is also scheduled to make a speech in the AIPAC meeting, where he is likely to comment on Iran’s nuclear energy program.
In an interview with the Atlantic magazine on Friday, Obama said the US is “not taking any option off the table” in order to stop Iran’s nuclear energy program, adding that the US options may include a “military component.”
He also warned Israel to be mindful of “the profound costs of any military action” and its “potential unintended consequences.”
The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program, using this pretext to impose sanctions against Iran and threaten the country with military attack.
Iran has denied the allegations and 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 region.