Olmert upbeat on Iran solution

Ehud Olmert said Western diplomacy can still rein in Iran’s nuclear program. “If the international community joins forces and applies the necessary restrictive measures on the economy of Iran, it will force Iran to reconsider its position,” the Israeli prime minister said Tuesday in an address to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Some have speculated that Israel or the United States could resort to pre-emptive military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but Olmert also has voiced optimism about a peaceful solution after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution in December imposing sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, a key step for bomb-making. Such sanctions, Olmert said, “can create such damage to the Iranian economy that it will force them to reconsider.” Olmert further accused Iran of trying to give the West the impression that its nuclear program is a fait accompli. “They are not as close to the threshold as they pretend to be. There is still time to fight in a comprehensive, responsible manner,” he said.

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