- Imprisoned Dervish Transferred to Hospital after Heart Attack
- Seven prisoners Were Hanged In Northern Iran
- Three Prisoners Were Hanged In Central Iran
- Dervish Issued Harsh Sentence to Intimidate Others
- 2 Christians are arrested in Tehran
- Iran’s Pre-Election Crackdown on Journalists
- CIA head visits Israel to discuss Syria, Iran's nuclear program
- US targets Iran rial, gold imports in sanctions pressure
- Israel air strike on Syria 'is a message to Iran and the US'
- Israel Will Strike Iran 's Subterranean Nuclear Sites
- Iran, not Israel, faces an existential threat, says top US analyst
- Oil-rich Emirates a key part of defense against Iran
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Iranians marrying foreigners without state consent face prosecution
- More women smuggling drugs out of Iran
- Canada’s High Court could try Iran for Zahra Kazemi murder
- "Hole"/ Saba Vasefi
- When it comes to Syria and Hezbollah, Israel is walking a tightrope
- IRGC: World now eying Iranian regime's resistance
- Two Iranians in Kenya found guilty of bomb plots
- Iran develops rocket-launcher submarine, smart ships
- Iran to unveil indigenous ballistic, cruise missiles
- Why Iran Is Trying to Save the Syrian Regime
Monday 23 July 2012
Jerusalem (CNN) -- Iran is in an "open war" with Israel, President Shimon Peres said Monday, as he pointed the finger at Iran and Hezbollah for last week's bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Peres said Israel would act to prevent further attacks.
Peres said Israel had "enough" hard intelligence to link the Bulgaria attack to Iran and its proxy Hezbollah and believes more attacks are being planned as part of what he called an "open war against Israel."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Iran and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah movement were responsible for a number of attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli targets in Thailand, Georgia, India, Greece, Cyprus and other countries.
Asked whether the Bulgaria bombing and the other attempted attacks were revenge for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, which Iran blames on Israel, Peres said that Israel has never claimed responsibility for the killings. But he noted that Israel has a right to prevent killing of its citizens.
Read more on the tension between Israel and Iran
"We don't have an initiative of terror," Peres said. "We don't do it. But self-defense is the right and the must of every people."
He said Israel's policy was one of "prevention," rather than "retaliation."
"If you have enough information about a certain person which is a ticking clock that can explode a bomb that can endanger civilian life, clearly you have to prevent him from doing so," Peres said, citing reports that the United States has killed as many as 3,000 people in drone strikes aimed at terrorist enclaves.
With neighboring Syria in a spiral of violence, Peres said Israel will be forced to seize Syria's chemical weapons if there is a risk President Bashar al-Assad would use them against Israel or that the arsenal could fall into terrorist hands.
Over the weekend, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he ordered the military to prepare contingency plans to attack Syria's chemical weapons arsenals, should the need arise.
"The use of chemical weapons is internationally forbidden... and what do you do when somebody violates the law? You fight against it," Peres said. "You stop them. We shall not remain indifferent and tell them, 'Do what you want.'"
When asked how far Israel would go to secure Syria's chemical arsenal, Peres simply said: "Until it will stop being a danger."
With Israel facing a potential influx of refugees, Peres said although no Syrians have tried to enter the country, Israel would not help any refugees who want to cross the border and would use force against any armed individuals.
"If they will come by force, we shall stop them by force," Peres said. "If they shall come in without force, we shall stop them the way any country defended her border with civilian means."
Peres spoke a day after Israel marked the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed.
While he wouldn't go into details, Peres said Israel was taking precautions to ensure Israeli athletes would not be targeted at the London Olympic Games, which start later this week. He argued, however, that if Israeli intelligence services been at Munich, they would probably have been able to prevent the attack.