Shimon Peres said Iran’s president worships the bomb more than he does God.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denials of the Holocaust and calls for elimination of the Jewish state underscore the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli president said in an interview broadcast Monday on National Public Radio in the United States.
“Ahmadinejad is an unbelievable joke,” Peres told NPR. “He claims he’s religious. My impression is that, in his eyes, the nuclear bomb is higher than Allah. He’s worshiping the bomb more than he’s worshiping the God in heaven.”
Peres, widely considered to be the father of Israel’s nuclear program, argued that Iran is fatally ignoring its domestic problems while pursuing the bomb.
“Iran has between 20 and 50 percent unemployment, a high inflation rate,” Peres said. “So all this attention is about the bomb, but people cannot live on a bomb, cannot make a living producing bombs and missiles.”
Asked about his new job, Peres was sanguine. “After being 60 years in politics, I lost my taste for management,” said the former prime minister. “I do believe that to inspire is more important than to manage, and to influence is more important than to give orders.”