The United States should not attack Iran, even if Iran develops nuclear weapons, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said.
In a recent interview with MSNBC, Carter not only declared his absolute opposition to any attack on Iran, he also said that Israel had a stock of nuclear weapons of its own.
"Israel has, what, 300 or more, nobody knows exactly how many," Carter said. "And I know that every Iranian realizes that if they should try to use a nuclear weapon, Iran would be wiped off the face of the earth, which I think is so ridiculous, a self-destructive decision, that they would not do it."
Carter expressed doubt about Israel's ability to attack Iran.
"I never have felt that Israel had a capability militarily to go 1,200 miles or more and bomb Iran effectively and then return back to Israel," he said.
"The only country on earth that has that capability would be the United States, and I don't believe it's appropriate for the United States to bomb Iran over this issue."
Carter, who ushered in the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, addressed the current diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians and criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state.
"I don't think that any Arab country can agree to that. And this is something, as you know, that's been resurrected [by] Netanyahu. This never was an issue when I was in office and trying to negotiate peace," he said.
Carter praised U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, saying he believed Kerry had "done a heroic job" trying to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
However, it appeared that Carter had his doubts about President Barack Obama's relatively small role in the peace process, saying that Kerry needed "more overt help overt from the White House."
"I don't think we'll have ever a peace agreement there unless the president of the United States is the leading character in mediating between the two," Carter said.