Olmert: No reason to strike Iran in near future

Former PM slams leadership for causing rift in US-Israel relationship, discussing possible Iran strike in public.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 12, 2012 18:15
1 minute read.
Olmert at Ono Academic College

Olmert at Ono Academic College 370. (photo credit: Screenshot)

 
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Former prime minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israel has no reason to act militarily against Iran in the near future.

"There is no reason whatsoever for Israel to act in the near future, not in the coming weeks and not in the coming months," said Olmert, speaking at the Ono Academic College. "That is not to say that Iran isn't thinking of non-conventional weapons... That said, Israeli [military] actions are not necessary within the coming future."

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"Discussions over Iran's nuclear program do not reflect reality," added Olmert. "We do not have to be hysterical. We have to calm down."

The former prime minister said that the Israel-US relationship is of paramount importance for Israel, and slammed leadership for driving a wedge between the two. "Pressure coming from Israel is unhelpful when the United States is two and a half months before an election," Olmert said.

"Where will the planes come from [that Israel would use to strike Iran]? Where will the other tools come from? Will they come from here, or from somewhere else? Who will help us?" Olmert asked, hinting at the importance of US support.

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Olmert also called for less public discussions over the Iranian nuclear program, saying that Israeli declarations only harm the country's international standing. Olmert has been vocal about the need to reduce the rhetoric about Iran stemming from Israel's leadership brass.

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"I am part of the circle that believes that Israel can not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons," Olmert said. "The question is, how do we proceed with this?.. This process must be made in full compliance with the international community."

Seemingly in response to comments made earlier Sunday by former Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi, who told Israel Radio that there is no certainty that intelligence agencies will discover Iranian nuclear advancements in time, Olmert said: "We will know it immediately when the Iranians decide to make the jump for nuclear weapons... We will know it, and the Americans will know it."

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