September 30, 2013 - 14:44 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Israeli President Shimon Peres says that "all options" should be kept open in forcing Iran to give up its nuclear program, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes but Israel believes is aimed at building nuclear arms.
Peres spoke at the Peace Palace in The Hague after meeting with judges at the International Court of Justice, sometimes called the World Court, on Monday, Sept 30, according to the Associated Press.
Peres said that economic sanctions against Iran may serve some purpose. But he noted that Syria in the past week agreed to give up its chemical weapons program only under the threat of use of force by the U.S. and pressure from Russia to comply.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading to the U.S. for talks with President Barack Obama.
Netanyahu, who will meet Obama on Monday and then address the UN on Tuesday, is expected to press the U.S. about Iran and its disputed nuclear program.
Israel and the West suspect Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran denies the claim. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who spoke to President Obama last week, has said he wants to seek a deal with world powers on Iran's nuclear program within months.
The phone conversation was the first top-level conversation between the two countries for more than 30 years. Rouhani, a moderate, was elected in June, replacing hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
On his return to Tehran on Saturday, Rouhani was welcomed by hundreds of supporters hailing his trip, as well as a smaller number of opponents chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".
The Israeli government has not officially reacted to the Iranian president's remarks and his historic phone conversation with Obama. Israeli media reported that ministers had been instructed not to speak publicly about the issue, to avoid gaffes before Monday's White House meeting.
But writing on his Facebook page, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that the Iranian president was engaging in a "deceitful exercise".
Iran is due to take place in substantive negotiations on its nuclear program in Geneva on October 15 with a group of nations known as the P5+1, which include the U.S., Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany. Rouhani has said Iran will bring a plan to that meeting, but has not provided details.