Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert jetted off to Moscow on Thursday for an urgent 3-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and likely warned that Israel could take military action against Iran.
According to an analysis piece in the Jerusalem Post, Israel “has gone from treating the Iranian problem as an international one, that the world has to deal with, to taking steps indicating that it sees it increasingly as an Israeli problem, that might necessitate an Israeli solution.”
Olmert met with Putin in Moscow a year ago and told him that if Iran continued with its nuclear program, “something will happen to them that they don’t want.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has threatened to wipe Israel off the map.
The issue of military action was not directly addressed at the 2006 meeting. But “it is safe to assume that it was raised – and how – during Thursday’s meeting,” the Post observed.
“Nobody is tiptoeing around the possibility of military action against Iran anymore.”
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner several weeks ago suggested that war with Iran could be necessary, and President Bush said Wednesday that a nuclear Iran could spark World War III.
Israel’s raid on an alleged nuclear facility in Syria in September was interpreted as a clear warning to Iran.
According to the Post, Putin is well aware of Iran’s intentions in developing nuclear weapons.
“While Russia knows what Iran is after, the Russians also see it in their geopolitical interest to stand opposed to the U.S. They have a huge economic interest in not slapping sanctions on Iran…
“Olmert didn’t go to Russia to convince Putin – he went to underscore Israel’s sense of urgency in taking real action now.”
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