Olmert: Iran threat must be stopped by ”all possible means”
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday that Iran's quest for nuclear capacity must be stopped by all possible means, and called on the world to warn Tehran of its devastating repercussions. In a speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Olmert also said he believed peace with the Palestinians was "truly attainable."
"The Iranian threat must be stopped by all possible means. International economic and political sanctions on Iran, as crucial as they may be, are only an initial step, and must be dramatically increased," Olmert said.
"The international community has a duty and responsibility to clarify to Iran, through drastic measures, that the repercussions of their continued pursuit of nuclear weapons will be devastating," he told the cheering crowd.
"Israel will not tolerate the possibility of a nuclear Iran, and neither should any other country in the free world," the Israeli leader said.
"Israel and the US have long understood the acute danger embodied in a nuclear Iran, and are working closely in a concerted, coordinated effort to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear," Olmert said in his speech. The Israeli premier said that Iran's defiance of international resolutions against its program "leave no doubt as to the urgent need for more drastic and robust measures."
He went on to urge countries that refine gasoline for Iran to impose sanctions on the oil-rich Islamic republic. Additionally, Olmert stated that Israel's indirect Turkish-mediated peace negotiations with Syria could deal a blow to Iran's "uninhibited ambition to achieve military superiority and regional hegemony."
"Syria is currently a threat to regional stability, but if it ultimately makes the choice to have peace relations with Israel, for which it will have to disengage from its allies in the Axis of Evil, this will constitute a drastic, strategic shift in the entire Middle East.
"Iran's negative response to this process can serve as an indication of the benefits embodied in it," Olmert said.