Olmert gathers ex-PMs for Iran chat

Participants agree not to reveal contents of discussion.

pm forum 298.88 gpo (photo credit: GPO)
pm forum 298.88 gpo
(photo credit: GPO)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert issued a laconic statement after meeting with three former prime ministers on Monday to discuss the Iranian nuclear situation, saying the forum had held a "comprehensive security discussion." The forum, which in addition to Olmert comprises Vice Premier Shimon Peres, opposition head Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, was established last month by Olmert to tap into the experience each of the former prime ministers had in dealing with Iran, now considered the primary strategic threat. For a Jerusalem Online video of the day's events click here. Some observers, however, have said Olmert also had a political agenda in convening the forum: to bring Netanyahu into the decision making process on Iran to mute future criticism on the issue, and to bypass Defense Minister Amir Peretz and give a boost to Barak - Peretz's main party rival. The participants agreed not to reveal the contents of the discussions, and the Prime Minister Office's statement following the meeting said only that the ex-prime ministers heard a security briefing from Olmert's military secretary, Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni. Peres, after the meeting, termed the gathering "helpful" and Barak said, "The four of us sat and discussed things connected to Israel's national security."