(JERUSALEM) — Israeli President Shimon Peres delivered a message to the people of Iran Wednesday, calling for peace and understanding.
Peres’ olive branch comes as the Iranian government has not been deterred from its goal of the destruction of Israel, while the Israeli government has made no secret about possibly launching a preemptive strike to knock out Iran’s nuclear program once and for all.
Yet, Peres’ remarks to the Israeli parliament on its 63rd anniversary was a refreshing change of pace compared to the constant saber rattling that has underscored the enmity Israel and Iran have had for each other since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that deposed the Shah of Iran.
Peres said, “We were not born enemies and there is no need to live as enemies. Do not allow the flags of hostility to cast a dark shadow over your historic heritage. Your people are a sensitive people that aspire for friendship and peace, and not for conflicts and wars.”
On the other hand, Peres let Iran’s leaders have it right between the eyes, “Iran is not only a threat for Israel, it constitutes a real danger to humanity as a whole. The present Iranian regime is Imperialism-hungry, aspiring to be the region’s supreme ruler.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Arwa Damon, Waffa Munayyer and Bryony Jones, CNN
Camille Verdier, Steve Visser and Margot Haddad, CNN