Olmert JPost conference 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
discussed the importance of taking immediate action in response to the recent Arab League peace overtures, while also addressing the Iran nuclear threat and Hezbollah's possible ownership of chemical weapons, in Channel 10 interview aired Wednesday.
think we cannot, under any condition, pass up on any possibility that
will lead to a return to peace talks," Olmert said. "It's a historic
opportunity that the Knesset cannot afford to miss."
Olmert also called
on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, with whom he has had
numerous differences of opinion over the years, to "lead Israel to peace
talks and stop looking for excuses."
In a speech at this week's Jerusalem Post
Conference, Olmert called Netanyahu's
'red line' warnings about Iran an 'exaggeration,' and claimed that Iran
will not be a real threat in the next five years. This speech has made
him the target of wide spread criticism to which he responded in the
"A year ago we said if we didn't act immediately, Iran
will cross the red line and we will lose the option of an attack. Now
we have changed the red line so it looks like we were blowing things out
of proportion," Olmert said. He continued by commending the "amazing
diplomatic successes" Israel has made in the past to slow down the
Iranian race to reach nuclear capabilities.
While he stood strong
on the Iran issue, Olmert conceded that there is a legitimate worry
that Hezbollah has received chemical weapons and said that if the
reports ever become official, Israel should respond with a "swift and
accurate strike" to neutralize the threat.
Though Olmert has been
absent from the Israeli political scene in recent years, he promised that his
career is not finished. "I won't leave the public life, you will
continue to hear from me I promise you," he said at the end of the