Peres: Not sure bombing Iran's nuclear sites "best solution"

Israeli President Shimon PeresJerusalem  - Israeli President Shimon Peres said Wednesday attacking Iran would only postpone its ability to build an atom bomb.

"I'm not sure that bombing the nuclear facilities is the best solution. You know, the moment there are centrifuges, you can destroy the centrifuges. You cannot destroy the know-how to create centrifuges. You can postpone," he told Israel's Channel 10 television.

Asked if Israel could accept a nuclear Iran, he said: "It's not all only attacking the nuclear facilities."

The West, he said, had other options. "First of all, to tell the Iranians, and they will tell them: 'If you use a nuclear weapon, you will get a nuclear response. It doesn't matter against whom'."

Secondly, the international effort against Iran should focus on its missiles. "They say they don't want a nuclear weapon. If they don't want a nuclear weapon, what do they need missiles for?"

Peres, whose tasks as president are largely ceremonial, also said the new Israeli government of hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should work for a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

"We've finished agreement with the Egyptians, with the Jordanians. Now we need to finish with the Palestinians. The gaps aren't big."

Until next month's meeting between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama in Washington, all reports about the new government's intentions and policies were just "talk."

"The opening line will be in that conversation and each side will hear what it is really about."

Peres gave interviews with Israeli television stations on the occasion of Israel's 61st independence day. (dpa)