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Ehud Olmer Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/Jerusalem Post
Ehud Olmer Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/Jerusalem Post
 
 

Olmert: Iranian threat exaggerated

Former prime minister says Iranian nuclear program not progressing; calls on Netanyahu to work intelligently, calmly with US leaders

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 04.28.13, 20:54 / Israel News

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Iran has yet to cross the "red line" as defined by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when speaking in front of the UN.

 

According to Olmert, the Iranian nuclear program has not been making progress in years, and the extent of the threat has been exaggerated.

 

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Speking at the annual Jerusalem Post conference in New York, Olmert added that the Iranians should seriously consider the US’ statement that it would do all in its power to ensure Iran did not reach nuclear capabilities.

 

The former prime minister noted that when top analysts told Israeli cabinet that "in the year 2008, and at the latest 2009, the Iranians will have a nuclear capacity, we took it very seriously. Now, we are in the middle of 2013 – and they still don't have it."

 


אהוד אולמרט בנאומו בניו-יורק (צילום: מרק ישראל סלם / ג'רוזלם פוסט)

Olmert in New York (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/Jerusalem Post)

 

Olmert predicted that Syrian President Bashar Assad might suffer a fall, saying it was a matter of time before he would be toppled.

 

The former prime minister also spoke about the new Israeli government, and Netanyahu’s two partners, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett. He said that the new politics, represented by Lapid and Bennett – young people who have managed to remain unpolitical – deserved strengthening and commendation.

 

Olmert was followed by Strategic Affairs Minister Minister Yuval Steinitz, who called Netanyahu the "Winston Churchill of the 21st century," in regard to the Iranian nuclear threat. He said that people refused to listen to Churchill.

 

Steinitz reminded the audience that this lack of belief in Churchill’s statements led to the deaths of millions, then in Europe, and that today’s situation in Iran was its equal.

 

 

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