OXFORD - Israeli President Shimon Peres said Iran and Turkey offered different models for how the Muslim world deals with other countries.
Turkey has mediated peace talks between Israel and Syria, while Israel considers Iran a strategic threat because of its nuclear program, its development of long-range missiles and repeated threats to destroy the Jewish state.
"Many Muslims will have to make their choice between the Iranian school of domination and the Turkish school of cooperation," Peres said in a speech at Oxford University on Tuesday.
Peres ignored hecklers declaring their support for a Palestinian state and told an audience of around 1,000 university students that Israel was negotiating with Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon to find peace in the Middle East.
He also gave his support to U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.
"It's a great declaration of human rights, the fact that a black person got the top job in our time," he said.
Earlier in the day, Peres had spoken on Syria and said making peace with Syria depends on whether Damascus is prepared to rein in Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Peres said in a BBC radio interview Tuesday morning that Syria could not expect Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights while Iran furthered its influence in Lebanon with the help of Syria. Israel is not prepared to tolerate an Iranian presence on its border, Peres said. "If Syria will understand that they can't have the Golan Heights and keep Lebanon as a base for the Iranians, then the decision will be clear, he said.