New York, Nov.14 : Israeli President Shimon Peres has said that Iran might have to end its nuclear weapons program because of the plummeting oil prices.
He told Fox News that tumbling oil prices would force a weakened Iran to consider abandoning its nuclear ambitions.
"The minute a barrel of oil goes down to its real cost, the Iranians will have to make a choice either to provide bread and butter for their children or to provide enriched uranium for the prestige of their leaders," Peres said.
Oil prices have fallen 60 percent since reaching an all-time high of more than 145 dollars a barrel in July, as the global financial crisis has weakened currencies and lowered energy consumption, causing energy prices to plummet in their wake.
Iran now stands at a vital crossroads, Peres says, with a struggling economy based on exporting its massive reserves of crude oil and natural gas.
The country faces a growing budget deficit and has an official inflation rate of 28 percent.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has pledged the destruction of Israel, but Peres said the world would not be cowed by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.
"Look, we want to remain alive. The world does not belong to you and we have enough strength to call you to order," he said of Iran, which he called the world's lead financer of terror.