( AFP ) - Israeli President Shimon Peres said he did not believe a war with Iran would be necessary but called for the end of the current government in Tehran, in an interview published Wednesday.
Peres told the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was dangerous for Israel and the region but that other means could be used to contain the threat.
"I do not think that a war with Iran is necessary," he said when asked if he supported a military strike against the country.
"Ahmadinejad can be deposed by other means. Sanctions have revealed themselves to be a very effective instrument. Sanctions, not war, did away with North Korea's nuclear weapons."
He said he did not believe the Iranian people wanted to destroy Israel or develop nuclear arms.
"The majority is not ready to trade Allah and Mohammed for enriched uranium. Those that, like Iran, threaten the future of humanity have no future themselves. We will survive Ahmadinejad."
Widely considered the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, Israel regards Iran as its main foe after repeated calls by Ahmadinejad for it to be wiped off the map.
Along with its main ally Washington, Israel accuses Tehran of using its nuclear programme of uranium enrichment as a cover to develop atomic weapons, a charge Iran vehemently denies.