Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday that he believed the threat against Israel of Iranian nukes is overrated and can be resolved diplomatically rather than by force.
“The Iranians are not as close to the technological threshold as they purport to be,” Olmert said at a news conference for the foreign press in Israel.
Olmert tried to change the focus to positive news about Israel by noting the record year for the nation’s economy despite two months of fighting on the northern and southern borders. American billionaire Warren Buffett bought an Israeli company for $4 billion, leading foreign investments in the land and the stock market hit a record high in the last year.
The prime minister also said that while Israel would continue abiding by a cease-fire with the Palestinians, the country would not tolerate the constant rocket barrage launched on southern Israel for much longer, though he didn’t give a time frame.
“The patience of Israel is being tested only too often,” he said. “It is a terrible mistake by factions in Gaza that are stretching and challenging the Israeli patience.”