TEHRAN, Dec. 2 (MNA) – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned that Benjamin Netanyahu’s aggressive quarrel with the Obama administration over the agreement with Iran signed in Geneva endangers Israel, and panned Netanyahu for “losing his head.”
Olmert spoke Sunday at a closed panel discussion on “the strategic implications of the interim agreement between the P5 + 1 and Iran,” held at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
Olmert said both his government and that of his predecessor Ariel Sharon wished to avoid public confrontation with the American administration over Iran. “At no stage did we want to do battle with Israel’s number one ally and to incite the Congress against the president,” he asserted.
Olmert called Netanyahu’s acts and statements unprecedented. “The danger and the potential damage from it are incomparably larger” than the value of the public debate with the United States, he said.
When Netanyahu took office in 2009, he changed Israeli policy in favor of “declarations” and “threats,” Olmert said.
Olmert also said Netanyahu’s Iran policy put an undue financial strain on Israel, criticizing the NIS 10 Billion spent on preparations for a possible attack on Iran. “This is money that was wasted,” Olmert said. “If the State of Israel ever decided act on its threats this money will not change anything, but it has great significance as to the state’s budget.”
Olmert rejected the claim that Netanyahu’s threats led to the severe sanctions that brought about the compromise with Iran, and said that these started even before Netanyahu took office.
He warned Netanyahu, without directly naming him, against a conflict with Obama, “the man whose support for the State of Israel, his good will, is possibly the most important basis for the country’s strategic interest,” and added that “we need to guard against anything that could possibly make it seem that we desire to fight with our greatest ally.”
Olmert also claimed that Netanyahu openly intervened against Obama in the U.S. presidential elections last year, a move he termed a “historic mistake.”
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