Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held his first
news conference spelling out his position on the looming
Iranian nuclear threat and the Palestinian election next
week. Olmert left no doubt where he stands on the recent
threats by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad about Israel
being ‘wiped off the map’ as Teheran renews its nuclear
weapons program in defiance of international criticism.
In a new development, the acting PM is sending a delegation
to Moscow. Russia is building the Iranian nuclear reactor
at bushehr. As for the Palestinians, Olmert said he hoped
to reach a permanent peace agreement with Mahnoud Abbas
but within the Roadmap framework.
Acting PM Ehud Olmert
'Israel will not sit idly by,
if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons' - that was the
message from Acting Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert in his first political statement.
laid it on the line: ’Under no condition and at no stage
will Israel be able to permit anyone with hostile intentions,
to arm itself with nuclear weapons’. When asked if Israel would
launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations,
he replied:’ We cannot acquiesce in such a threat being directed
at us’. Olmert was reacting to Teheran’s renewing its program
to enrich uranium required for producing the bomb. Olmert also
said the Iranian threat is not new to him - before taking ill,
Prime Minister Sharon had called on him to study the question.
And Olmert added: ’The subject is on the agenda of the Israeli
government’. Jerusalem was acting in close contact with the U.S.
and European states. He concluded by saying: ’I believe there
is a way to ensure that non-conventional weapons will not fall
into irresponsible hands that would endanger the world peace.
Interviewed on Channel 10 TV, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said
Israel was taking all the necessary steps to defend itself. His
statement comes against the furor in Germany over reports the
German authorities have cooperated with the Mossad, Israel’s secret
service, in supplying German passports to Israeli agents.
At long last, Iran’s neighbors such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia,
are now voicing their concern over Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
As reported previously
By IsraCast, they also feel threatened by Iran’s fanatic Islamist
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas
Issue: At his first news conference, Olmert spoke about
renewing peace talks with the Palestinians. He said: ’After the
upcoming Palestinian and Israeli elections, I hope to negotiate
with Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) on a permanent agreement’. Olmert’s
spokesman later made clear the peace parley must be conducted
within the Roadmap. But what if Hamas, which is also bound on
Israel’s destruction, wins seats in the Palestinian ‘parliament’
in the election set for January 25th? Olmert says the Roadmap’s
first condition is that the Palestinians disarm the terrorists
and halt the violence. As for Hamas, it would also have to revoke
its charter that calls for Israel’s annihilation.
It has long been apparent, that Palestinian leader Abu-Mazen is
deeply upset about the lawlessness and violence that rules Palestinian
society. The Maariv Daily now writes that reports reaching Israel
say Abu Mazen is now suffering from mental depression.
As he gradually steps into the
position of prime minister, Ehud Olmert is facing a tough baptism
of fire - the Iranian nuclear threat and the uncertainty following
the Palestinian election.
David Essing, ISRACAST,