Olmert calls for new sanctions on Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called Monday for new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program as he started a visit to Japan. According to AFP, Olmert is the first Israeli prime minister since 1997 to visit Japan.
"I hope that further sanctions will be taken against Iran," Olmert told reporters on his plane as he arrived for the four-day visit that will include meetings with his counterpart Yasuo Fukuda and an audience with Emperor Akihito.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Friday in its latest report that it had made "quite good progress" in its four year-probe into Iran's nuclear works. But the nuclear watchdog presided over by Mohamed ElBaradei said it was still not in a position to determine if Iran's programmes were peaceful.
"The ElBaradei report shows that Iran is pursuing its nuclear programme. If the report had been drafted by Israel, it would have been much clearer," Olmert said. "The basic fact doesn't change. There is a plan to make non-conventional weapons and it must be stopped," the Israeli leader conveyed.
Olmert suggested a link between Iran and Japan's rival North Korea, which tested an atom bomb in 2006. "Iran is the epitome of recklessness, of extremity, of irresponsibility on the highest political level," Olmert told Japanese public broadcaster NHK ahead of his visit. "And I think North Korea is as well. The combination of these two together is certainly dangerous for the stability of the region," he added.