By Jim Kouri
Israel’s President Shimon Peres warned that Iran is planning to extend its sphere of influence across the entire Middle East. Peres said that time is running out for diplomacy and sanctions to convince Tehran to disband its nuclear program, an Israeli counterterrorist told the Government Examiner on Monday.
Peres said that Iran “really wants” to dominant the region and is using its global terrorism network to achieve that goal.
“They have already established bases through Hezbollah and Hamas, they are involved in Syria and Iraq and want to shake up the entire Middle East,” Peres said in a statement issued by his office.
The president stated he does not believe the United States and the Western world will ignore Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony.
“I can’t imagine that the United States and Europe will allow the Middle East to fall into Iranian hands. Maybe there is a limit to time, but right now we have to do whatever we can to deepen the non-military pressures while making clear that other options remain,” Peres said, referring to a host of sanctions that so far failed to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Senior Hamas leaders recently used various opportunities and forums to restate the movement’s rigid, extremist fundamental position regarding the conflict with Israel, according to an Israeli police official.
For example, Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, welcoming a delegation from Malaysia, emphasized Hamas’ adherence to its principles, especially its refusal to cede one inch of the territory of “Palestine” and its insistence on the “right of return” of six million Palestinian refugees from outside Palestine.
Designated by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997, Hamas carries out attacks — such as suicide bombings, rocket launches, improvised explosive device attacks, and shootings — against civilian targets inside Israel.
Meanwhile, the top leader of the Iranian-supported terrorist group Hezbollah warned the United States and Israeli governments that interference in the internal affairs of Iran or any military attack would result in violence throughout the Middle East.