Olmert: Israeli Strike on Iran Without U.S. Okay 'Irresponsible'

Olmert tells crowd in northern Israeli college that the Iranian nuclear project has not 'reached a level that forces Israel to act immediately or in the near future.'

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak over their positions on the Iran nuclear program, calling the possibility of a strike without U.S. coordination “irresponsible.”

“The Iranian nuclear project has not reached a level that forces Israel to act immediately or in the near future,” Olmert said during a conference at the Ono Academic College in northern Israel.

Olmert added that “all this talk about how an attack is inevitable do not reflect the way things look to the security establishment. I would suggest listening closely to the people within the establishment.”

Olmert further stated that there are those who are “trying to create the impression that the U.S. position is vague. The attempt to create exaggerated drama two months before the U.S. election is neither wise nor responsible.

The former prime minister also spoke about the way he dealt with the Iranian issue during his term, saying that his government dealt with the same situation, but did so in a “secretive and efficient manner.” Olmert suggested that the current struggle be conducted with great restrain, as well as good judgment, calm and responsibility.

Earlier, Netanyahu told his cabinet that "the threat concerning the home front is dwarfed by another threat – Iranian nuclear power."

Netanyahu, who took leave of Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai – who will soon begin his term as Israeli ambassador in China – stressed that, for years, Israeli governments failed to invest in protecting the home front.