March 12, 2013 - 21:58 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Israeli President Shimon Peres urged the European Union on Tuesday, March 12 to step up pressure on Iran over its ballistic missile program, as well as trying to curb its nuclear ambitions, Reuters reported.
In a speech to the European Parliament that touched on the Jewish state's foreign policy goals, the Nobel peace laureate sought to persuade European lawmakers to act quickly on Iran, which Israel regards as an existential threat.
As well as its efforts to enrich uranium, which the West suspects Iran wants for a nuclear weapon, Peres said Europe needed to be worried about Iran's ballistic missile capabilities, which could allow it to deliver a bomb.
"Iran is constructing long-range missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. It can reach the far corners of the world, including Europe," Peres said. "I believe that in addition to controlling the production of highly enriched uranium, there is a need to control the means of delivery."
Israel has threatened to bomb Iran's nuclear installations if international diplomatic efforts fail to persuade it to curb its nuclear work, which Iran maintains is for peaceful purposes.
Peres, whose role in Israel is largely ceremonial, also urged European governments to address Iran's forthcoming election, four years after a disputed ballot led to the worst unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
"Your voice will show the Iranian people that the world has not turned its back on them," the 89-year-old told the parliament, the EU's only directly elected body.
Earlier on Tuesday, the EU imposed sanctions on nine Iranian officials whom it blames for human rights violations.