Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Sunday that Iran is “far from reaching the point of no return,” and any action that Israel may or may not need to take to thwart its nuclear programme is still a long way away.
Speaking on Sunday to students at the Ono Academic College, Olmert also criticised the handling of the debate surrounding the possibility of an attack on Iran. The former PM said all of the public talk, debate and discussions concerning a possible Israeli strike on Iran jeopardise national security and “contribute nothing to our ability to deal with the threat that Iran poses for Israel,” he added, while asserting that he shared the sense that Israel “cannot be reconciled to a nuclear Iran.”
Although Olmert stressed Sunday that Iran is far from the point of no return, he added that “If the international community does not do what it is expected to do, then Israel will have no choice but to act alone … I do not rule out the possibility that we may have to make such a decision, but that is not the situation today.”
Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that sanctions have not shifted the Iranian nuclear drive “one iota,” and Israeli media reports over the weekend suggested that he and Defence Minister Ehud Barak were close to making a decision on whether to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Yesterday, Netanyahu told the cabinet, “All the threats directed at the home front are dwarfed by another threat of a different size and scope. And so I say again: Iran must not be allowed to attain nuclear weapons.”
Olmert, in mid-July was acquitted of two out of three major criminal charges against him, and has denied any plans in the foreseeable future to re-enter politics – despite rife speculation that he might attempt to once again lead an Israeli centrist party.