Olmert urges action against Iran
Prime minister discusses Iranian, North Korean nuclear threat to Israel with top security officials, says he backs plans to impose sanctions against Iran for rejecting compromise by western nations


Ronny Sofer Published: 10.12.06, 12:22

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stressed Thursday that the North Korean nuclear test illustrates the need for the international community to deal in an urgent, determined, courageous and united manner with the nuclear issue.

Olmert spoke during a meeting with top security officials to discuss the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel.

During the meeting, which was held behind closed doors, officials discussed the steps that need to be taken by the international community to prevent the spread of nuclear armament.

At the end of the meeting Olmert said the international community is leading the effort to halt Iran's nuclear program and that Israel backs plans to impose sanctions against Iran at the United Nations Security Council.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Vice Premier Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Deputy Prime Minister Eliyahu Yishai, and Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter attended the meeting.

UN sanctions
On Tuesday the five permanent members of the UN Security Council agreed to start working on UN sanctions against Iran next week but failed to bridge differences on how harsh the penalties should be, diplomats and officials said.

”All agree for the need for sanctions but there are problems with how harsh they should be,” said one of the diplomats, whose country is accredited to the IAEA.

On Wednesday, Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that he would declare a "Day of national celebration" if sanctions were imposed on his country, state television reported.

"The day sanctions are imposed on Iran by its enemies, would be a day of national celebration for the Iranian nation," he was quoted as telling supporters in Robat Karim, a town in south of Tehran.

He said previous sanctions had not stopped Iran from achieving its goals.

"Iran has achieved nuclear technology under sanctions," Ahmadinejad reportedly said.