This Iranian regime is a clear and present strategic threat to Israel, but it is no less a threat to the values of the EU, the international community, and the security of the region and the world as a whole.

Cabinet Communique – 24 Dec 2006

Prime Minister Olmert discussed UN Security Council Resolution 1737 that imposed sanctions on Iran and emphasized that an analysis of the decision makes it clear that there are many more options for action that – correctly used and enforced by the international community – will enable the attainment of better results in blocking Iran’s nuclear option. 

The Prime Minister noted that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and her ministry, including the Israeli Mission to the UN, fully participated in the diplomatic efforts that were involved in formulating the broad agreement that led to the unanimous decision.


Address by FM Livni to the International Workshop "Israel and the European Union in the Enlarged Neighborhood" – 11 Dec 2006
 
The most recent war in Lebanon was not a conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Though the war took place in Lebanon, it was the case of a rogue state, Iran, and its well-armed proxy, Hizbullah, taking advantage of a weak state, Lebanon, in an attempt to impose their agenda on the region. In this challenge posed to us by the forces of extremism, Israel and the EU and the entire moderate community stand together…

The EU is a key player in facing the challenge posed by the nuclear aspirations of the rogue state of Iran, and in the prevention of the proliferation of non-conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

This Iranian regime is a clear and present strategic threat to Israel, but it is no less a threat to the values of the EU, the international community, and the security of the region and the world as a whole. In fact, many countries in the Middle East – particularly the Arab/Sunni regimes – have an increasingly acute sense of the threat they face from a nuclear Iran. As a whole, the EU takes this threat seriously. Yet, the delaying tactics of the Iranian regime have bought them significant leverage, and time is of the essence. The breakthrough in their technological capability can happen sooner then we think. 

One can still hear – from some capitals – hesitation and doubts. One can hear talk of the possible effect of oil prices, or the need to give more time – which, of course, the Iranian regime exploits only to move closer to nuclear weapon know-how and capability. There are some who perceive the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran as a single, isolated, and somehow manageable problem. They are deeply, and dangerously, mistaken. 

If it becomes clear that the world is not going to seriously confront this threat, this can lead to a domino effect. Some countries in the region may seek protection in nuclear weapons of their own. Others may feel compelled to appease or submit to the Iranian regime. In either case, we will face an unacceptably dangerous and volatile situation.

It has become vital that the EU, as a key player in this issue, increase its efforts in preventing further delays, and proceed to the immediate implementation of effective sanctions, in addition to any other measure effective in preventing a nuclear Iran.


PM Olmert meets with country’s newspaper editors – 7 Dec 2006

There is one issue that certainly disturbs us very much and that is the Iranian issue. It wasn’t born in recent months but has been on the international agenda for a not inconsiderable period. It is not an Israeli issue. Its links and threats do not pertain to Israel only. It is definitely an issue that weighs heavily on us too and we are working in various ways to deal with it but it is – first and foremost – an international issue. The international community also believes that it must deal with this issue.

The way to deal with it, first and foremost, is to see to it that Iran will not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons. This is the goal. The ways are various and manifold. I hope that it will be possible to achieve this via negotiations, as I have said more than once, including through compromise. Any compromise that leads to Iran not crossing the technological threshold and not having the ability to produce non-conventional weapons seems to me a compromise in the right direction.

The international community is making a major effort to reach such an arrangement. It is clear that Israel cannot countenance the idea that Iran will be nuclear capable and I am pleased that we think like other countries in the world, first and foremost the USA…

I do not think that anybody in the USA believes that the development of an Iranian nuclear capability is justified. I have no doubt that nobody in the USA, in any position of responsibility, supports, justifies or is prepared to countenance a nuclear-capable Iran…

We cannot remain indifferent to attempts which appear to us to be serious attempts to develop a capability with which they will be able to advance toward the production of a non-conventional bomb. We will work with our friends, first and foremost with the USA, in order to prevent this.