At a Friday meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle – whose country is a member of the P5+1 – in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), Peres once again accused Iran of building a nuclear weapon and called for the escalation of pressure against the Islamic Republic in the run-up to the country’s presidential election on June 14.
“Iran is near elections and the sanctions may be having an impact. The sanctions and pressure should be continued in the buildup to the Iranian elections,” the hawkish Israeli president said.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran vehemently denies the allegations, citing religious prohibitions and a firm commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The German foreign minister, for his part, echoed the nuclear accusations against Iran, saying, “I assure you that we stand by our friends, our Israeli friends, and we look forward to continuing this deep and trustful relationship.”
Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers – Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US plus Germany – have held several rounds of talks, mainly over the Iranian nuclear energy program. The latest rounds of the negotiations between the two sides were held in the Kazakh city of Almaty on April 5-6 and February 26-27.
On Thursday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Sa’eed Jalili, who represents the Islamic Republic in the talks with the P5+1, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, representing the other side, held talks in Istanbul, Turkey, regarding the negotiations.
Using the nuclear allegations as pretext, Washington and the European Union have imposed a series of illegal unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The bans come on top of four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran under the same pretext.