Iran: Ehud Olmert the latest Israeli politician to oppose attack on nuclear facilities


Olmert arrives for the beginning of his corruption trial at the Jerusalem District Court in May.



NEW YORK - Former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert today joined other prominent figures in urging restraint in confrontations with Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear enrichment program, according to The Associated Press.

Olmert’s words echo those spoken recently by the chiefs of Israel’s spy agency and internal security.

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Olmert served as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2009. In 2007, Israeli conducted “Operation Orchard,” in which Israeli war planes attacked a Syrian nuclear facility suspected of having a military purpose. At the time, Bloomberg cited the Japanese news agency NHK as saying 10 North Koreans may have died in the attack. Israel has never acknowledge its role in the attack, according to the AP.

According to the AP, Olmert spoke today to Israel’s Channel 10 from New York: "There is no reason at this time not to talk about a military effort," Olmert was quoted as saying, "but definitely not to initiate an Israeli military strike."

Yuval Diskin, the former head of the internal intelligence service known as Shin Bet, yesterday blasted Israel’s leadership generally as incompetent, according to CNN.

But, according to CNN, he specifically accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of messianism, saying the government was offering "a false view to the public on the Iranian bomb, as though acting against Iran would prevent a nuclear bomb. But attacking Iran will encourage them to develop a bomb all the faster."

Diskin’s remarks followed those by Meir Dagan, the former head of Israel’s spy agency Mossad, who has frequently criticized bellicose talk aimed at Iran and called attacking the country a “stupid idea,” according to CNN.

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Ehud Olmert stood trial starting in 2010 on three sets of corruption charges. Trial concluded in February, after he was again indicted in January on a fourth indictment.