Threat of nuclear Iran intolerable: Israel

PM Olmert says Iranian President Ahmadinejad is a man who is ready to commit crimes against humanity, and has to be stopped.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2006 11:24 IST

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that it is "absolutely intolerable" for Tel Aviv to accept the threat of a nuclear Iran.

In an interview with Newsweek, he did not reply directly to the question whether Israel would consider taking military action if the international community does not act.

"I prefer not to discuss the Israeli options. Israel has many options," he responded.

Olmert said Iranian President Ahmadinejad is a man who is "ready to commit crimes against humanity, and he has to be stopped".

"My position is clear. If there can be a compromise that will stop Iran short of crossing the technological threshold that will lead them into nuclear capabilities, we will be for such a compromise.

But I don't believe that Iran will accept such compromise unless they have good reason to fear the consequences of not reaching a compromise. In other words, Iran must start to fear," he added.

Answering another question, he asserted that he under no circumstances would he withdraw from the need to engage in a serious dialogue with the Palestinians.

The Palestinian issue is on the agenda and it cannot be ignored but Israel has to find the best partner, he said, adding that much depends on the Palestinian leadership.

Asked whether he considered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a partner, Olmert said Abbas has consistently shown his opposition to terror and his discomfort with Hamas.

First Published: Nov 13, 2006 11:24 IST