March 25: UN Security Council Resolution 1747 is an important, encouraging step by the international community.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at Cabinet meeting – Mar 25, 2007
"Last night, the UN Security Council unanimously approved Resolution #1747, which imposes additional sanctions on Iran in order to cause it to freeze its uranium enrichment program, which is liable to turn it into a nuclear power. Undoubtedly, this is an additional, significant step up in the international struggle to Iran’s nuclear armament program. We have already seen that previous resolutions, especially #1737, have had significant influence not only on the international atmosphere but also on Iran’s domestic affairs.
This decision is an important, encouraging step by the international community and we will continue to act to the best of our ability in those areas in which we have influence in order to strengthen this international front so that we can – in the end – achieve the desired result. The Israeli position has always been to prefer a political, diplomatic and economic solution to the Iranian problem. This is the preferred and desirable solution and I very much believe that the concentrated strength of the international community, as we have seen it now, will continue. There is a tangible chance to also reach the result that we are interested in."
Video Message by PM Olmert to the AIPAC Policy Conference – Mar 13, 2007
I want to speak tonight about two major issues. First and foremost, the threats to Israel from Iran. Iran is the main threat to the State of Israel. There has never been such a brutal, explicit and direct threat to the very existence of the State of Israel by any nation since Israel was proclaimed, as today is the threat of Iran to very lives of our country. This is the first time since the Second World War that a leader of a nation, member of the United Nations, stands up publicly and explicitly and talks about the legitimacy of the State of Israel. Not only this, but this country is creating a very sophisticated weaponry system, with ballistic missiles, that can deliver bombs to the very heart of the State of Israel, as well as to the very heart of many European cities and many other major cities across the world.
But not only this. This country tries to create a nuclear capacity and they explicitly and publicly and brutally talk about the need to wipe Israel off the map. Not since the Second World War did we hear such words coming from a leader of a nation against another nation. And you people gathered here in Washington tonight, you know that when it comes to this, when we hear such threats, we lose our sense of humor. We take it seriously. We have no choice but to take it seriously. And we must address ourselves to these threats and make sure that no one really has the capacity, the means and the opportunity to exercise their hatred against the Jewish people and the State of Israel, particularly not those who might have nuclear capacity.
Naturally, the preferred solution for the Iranian issue is the diplomatic one. Israel is very much in favor of the diplomatic approach that can be useful and that can be helpful. Sanctions which were already taken by the UN Resolution 1737 and hopefully additional measures which will have to be taken soon by countries across the world – economic measures, diplomatic measures, political measures – will all be effective and will be felt and will help force the Iranians to reconsider their position and to decide whether its worthwhile for them to carry on this challenge without additional restraint.
But at the end of the day, I think we all know and have to recognize that President George W. Bush is the only leader and the United States of America is the only country that can be of enormous influence on what the Iranians will do. They are the only ones that can confront effectively the aggressiveness of the Iranians in their attempts to build up nuclear capacity. I know that all of you, friends of the State of Israel, well wishers for the State of Israel, all of you who are concerned about the security and the future of the State of Israel, understand the importance of a strong American leadership addressing the Iranian threat, and I’m sure that you will not hamper or restrain the strong leadership unnecessarily.
I also want to add, what might be the consequences of premature action in Iraq. What these might create, to Israel’s security, to the security of the Gulf States, to the stability in the Middle East and to the ability of the United States to cope with threats emerging in different parts of the world, particularly those threats emerging from Iran.
FM Livni at AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington D.C. – Mar 12, 2007
To address extremism is to address Iran. This is a regime which calls for the destruction of a state, a member of the United Nations, Israel – my home. This alone should deny it a place in the community of nations. It is a regime which denies the Holocaust, while threatening the world with a new one. It is a regime driven by a radical religious ideology with the goal of dominating the region, exporting terror, and preventing peace.
The Iranian threat is clear not just to Israel and the Western world. Many Arab and Gulf States feel it too. They also cannot afford a nuclear Iran and, believe me, love for Israel has nothing to do with it. They know, as we do, that even if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict magically disappeared, Iran’s radical ideology would remain. And they know, as we do, that there is no path to a stable world, or a peaceful Middle East, that does not involve addressing this threat.
The international community must not close its eyes. It must defeat this danger not for Israel’s sake, but for its own – for the sake of its own security and for the sake of the values it claims to hold dear. We know that there is much more that needs to be done and time is of the essence.
The initial sanctions on Tehran have had an impact and, as part of our collective effort, they must be strengthened and expanded without delay. And to those states, who know the threat, but still hesitate because of narrow economic or political interests let me say this: History will remember. The free world is being watched. The Middle East is a tough neighborhood. And when there is a bully in this neighborhood there are only two choices, to beat it or to join it.
If states in the region feel that the world will not stop Iran, they may feel the need to appease it. We live in a region where images matter, and where the perception of weakness can have far-reaching consequences. If we appease the extremists – if they feel that we are backing down – they will sense victory and become more dangerous not only to the region, but to the world. This applies to the decisions made on Iran, it is true for Iraq; and it is true across the Middle East. And it is why it is so important for the international community, with American leadership, to project strength, to demonstrate absolute determination in achieving its objectives and absolute commitment to its values.
FM Livni at Joint Press Conference on the EU-Israel Association Council meeting – Mar 5, 2007
When it comes to Ahmed Ahmadinejad, I think that a leader who denies the Holocaust, who calls for the Jews to go back to Europe, who talks about his vision of wiping Israel – a state – off the map – a state which is Israel, which is my home – should not be accepted as a member of the international community. Now he is being received in Saudi Arabia, and last year, and only a few months ago, he was received in the United Nations. The United Nations is an organization that was formed after the Second World War, on the understanding of "never again". So, even if we set aside his horrific ideas, plus the idea of trying to get the weapons to do so, I think that this kind of statement is unacceptable and I think that it is important that he understands that the international community is not going to live with this kind of statement. And this is, of course, in addition to the need to stop his nuclear program to get the weapons to implement these horrific ideas.
I would like to say something else. I know that Iran is not only a threat to Israel, and these kind of statements are not only the business of Israel. It is about the international community, it is about the international community’s values; it is about the way the free world would like to promote, or to live with its own values.
PM Olmert meets UK Opposition Leader David Cameron – Mar 1, 2007
Prime Minister Olmert discussed the steps that must be taken in order to pressure Iran into halting its nuclear program: diplomatic and economic sanctions, restrictions on Iranians’ freedom of movement around the world and restrictions on the financial activities of Iranian companies. The Prime Minister emphasized that the path with Iran is yet long and will be effective only if there is united action by the nations of the world.