Iran appears to exercise a thoughtful and calculated approach to its
nuclear program, which shows that diplomacy can still be effective,
former prime minister Ehud Olmert told CNN in a brief video interview
published on its website ahead of a more lengthy one due to air in
the US Monday night.
His comments come in the aftermath of statements he made Sunday at
The Jerusalem Post conference in New York against rushing to launch a
military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“The Iranian leadership has not gone beyond a certain line for the
time being in the development of the nuclear program,” Olmert told
“That shows that they are at least thoughtful, which means that they
are not rushing, but they are calculating their steps, being aware of
the possible ramifications of what they do to Iran itself, which is
what we want them to understand,” he said.
Israel still needs to be prepared to defend itself militarily against
Iran, Olmert told CNN.
“We have to create the capacity to defend ourselves,” he said.
At the same time, he added, “We have to encourage the international
community to be quiet, without talking so much, to take measures and
sanctions, economic pressure and so on and so forth.”
There should not be a “rush for certain military actions [against
Iran], which are not essential at this point,” he added.
His comments come at a time when former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and
former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin have
questioned the ability of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and
Defense Minister Ehud Barak to eliminate Iran’s nuclear program
Iran has restarted negotiations with six world powers over the
broader dimensions of its nuclear program and the sides have agreed
to meet again in Baghdad on May 23.
Washington and its allies believe Tehran is working on developing
Tehran insists its activities have only civilian energy purposes and
has refused to stop enriching uranium, despite a slew of sanctions.
The UN Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment
activity but Western diplomats have indicated the immediate priority
is to get it to halt the higher-grade work.