Ehud Olmert ordered his Cabinet ministers to keep quiet on Iran’s nuclear program.
The Israeli prime minister formally muzzled his Cabinet the day after his internal security minister, Avi Dichter, came out against a U.S. intelligence report playing down Iran’s atomic ambitions.
“I demand that the ministers stop making statements on Iran and the American intelligence report,” Olmert told the Cabinet at its Sunday meeting, according to Israeli officials.
“I would remind you that the Security Cabinet held a discussion on the subject and agreed on Israel’s position. There is no place for private remarks by every single minister on such a sensitive and complex issue,” he said. “Such statements do not contribute to the mission or to our relations with the White House.”
The Ma’ariv newspaper and The Associated Press reported that Israel last week sent a high-level intelligence delegation to Washington in a bid to persuade their U.S. counterparts on the immediacy of the Iranian nuclear threat. The outcome of those reported talks was not immediately known.