PARIS (JTA) — Shimon Peres said that the fact that Israel is suspected of having nuclear weapons is dissuading Iran from striking the Jewish state.
The Israeli president also said that contrary to the thinking of some Palestinians, Israel "is not abandoned" by the Obama administration.
In an interview published last Friday with the French daily le Figaro, Peres said he thought "the Palestinians committed a little error by thinking that the United States had abandoned Israel" by insisting this summer that Israeli settlement expansion be frozen immediately.
"The contrary was true," he said. "We are not abandoned."
President Obama has dropped earlier demands for a settlement freeze in order to move forward with peace negotiations.
Asked if Israel possessed a nuclear weapon capable of dissuading Iran from striking the Jewish state, Peres said that "the bomb is not the danger, it’s those who detonate it who can represent a danger. Israel always said that it would not be the first to introduce the bomb to the Middle East. But it doesn’t bother us to be suspected of having the bomb because suspicions are a dissuasion. If we can have dissuasion by suspicion, why not? We’re not against it."