The following is part of a CNN Exclusive:
Iran is in an “open war” with Israel, President Shimon Peres said Monday, as he pointed the finger at Iran and Hezbollah for last week’s bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Peres said Israel would act to prevent further attacks.
Peres said Israel had “enough” hard intelligence to link the Bulgaria attack to Iran and its proxy Hezbollah and believes more attacks are being planned as part of what he called an “open war against Israel.”
Asked whether the Bulgaria bombing and the other attempted attacks were revenge for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, which Iran blames on Israel, Peres said that Israel has never claimed responsibility for the killings. But he noted that Israel has a right to prevent killing of its citizens.
With neighboring Syria in a spiral of violence, Peres said Israel will be forced to seize Syria’s chemical weapons if there is a risk President Bashar al-Assad would use them against Israel or that the arsenal could fall into terrorist hands.
“The use of chemical weapons is internationally forbidden… and what do you do when somebody violates the law? You fight against it,” Peres said.
With Israel facing a potential influx of refugees, Peres said although no Syrians have tried to enter the country, Israel would not help any refugees who want to cross the border and would use force against any armed individuals.
“If they will come by force, we shall stop them by force,” Peres said. “If they shall come in without force, we shall stop them the way any country defended her border with civilian means.”