Yesterday, Russian President Medveded announced that he had been assured by Israeli President Shimon Peres that they would not launch a preemptive attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. Today Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon pointed out that the pledge was not true, and even if Peres was not a doddering old fool, the office of President is a ceremonial position and has no say in policy:
Ayalon told the Reuters news agency that Medvedev’s statement did not guarantee Israel would not attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, should the international diplomatic push to stymie its nuclear aspirations prove futile.
“It is certainly not a guarantee. I don’t think that, with all due respect, the Russian president is authorized to speak for Israel and certainly we have not taken any option off the table.”
In a transcript of the interview with Medvedev released by the Kremlin on Sunday, The Russian president hedged on the question of whether Russia would support Iran if it were attacked by Israel.
Although Russia has no defense agreement with Iran “this does not mean we would like to be or will be indifferent to such an occurrence… But my Israeli colleagues told me they were not planning to act in this way, and I trust them,” Medvedev said.
According to Reuters, President Shimon Peres made the pledge to Medvedev during a meeting in the Russian resort of Sochi in August.
“When he visited me in Sochi, Israeli President Peres said something important for us all: ‘Israel does not plan to launch any strikes on Iran, we are a peaceful country and we will not do this’,” Medvedev said.
The role of Peres as president is mainly ceremonial and he does not determine policy.
If anything an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities is closer today than one week ago. The United Nations Monitors has reported that Iran has all the technology it needs to create a bomb. Even worse, Obama’s recent declaration that he is canceling the missile defense system in Poland and Czechoslovakia is a message to Israel that Barack Obama does not stand behind his guarantees to protect his allies.