Peres: N. Korea has become nuclear duty-free shop
President Shimon Peres told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday afternoon that "North Korea has become a duty-free shop for nuclear material."
Peres also said that Iran "is bluffing to the world big time. The nuclear bomb is a tool for it to introduce Iranian hegemony in the Middle East. The situation is become extremely dangerous. We have very solid information."
The president met with his Russian guest in a one-on-one meeting that lasted about an hour. They discussed the possibility that Russia may sell S-300 missile systems to Iran and Syria and the need to impose sanctions on Iran in addition to those passed recently in the UN Security Council.
Peres was adamant in their meeting. He said, "Russia, the EU, and the US must spearhead additional measures and sanctions against Iran. We must not be naïve and must make a heard a moral voice against this country, whose police hang in the streets those who are opposed to the regime and allows women to be made into slaves. None of us will be able to sleep soundly at night, including Russia and the European countries, if Iran has nuclear weapons.
"I don't know what is happening in terms of other countries, but we have no doubts. We view the Iranian threat of a nuclear bomb with great seriousness. Israel will not leave any opening for this threat. I recommend that you do the same," said Peres.
North Korea is another matter that remains unresolved in the international arena, and, according to Israeli suspicions, allows for the supply of nuclear materials to Iran and Syria. Peres did not hesitate to bring up the issue with Lavrov.
"The North Korean matter must not be left open," said Peres. "This country has become a duty-free shop for nuclear resources. I call upon you to take action to extend a defense umbrella to all countries threatened by Iran. Iran must know that its missiles will be met with the most advanced technology. Neither you nor I can allow ourselves an insane neighbor living next door."
President Peres reminded Lavrov of Russia's declarations to the media in 1998 in which the country committed not to sell weaponry to countries in the region that will disrupt the Middle East balance of power. Lavrov emphasized that Russia would not do so, saying that it is committed to international charters and agreements.