Former Israeli PM blasts Netanyahu's 'obsession' with Iran 'fear'
In an interview with Israel’s Jerusalem Post, Ehud Olmert discussed the country's defence policy under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He said that Israel spent too much time focusing on inflammatory rhetoric against Iran instead of focusing on the Islamic Republic's role in neighbouring Syria.
"At some point while the Iranians were already in Syria, we started to attack them [with] our air attacks," Olmert explained.
"Following every attack we made public, provocative statements that warned and threatened the Iranians with complete destruction. That we could attack them directly and speak about it publicly is living proof we could do the same while they were trying to enter into Syria, which changed entirely the perception of danger that we have to face in the north part of the country."
Iran is a key ally for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad who responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms in 2011 Spring, leading to the country's destruction.
Olmert added that Iran would be more likely to respond to Netanyahu's fiery threats than Israeli strikes on Syria.
He warned Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Qasem Soleimani "will tolerate the attacks, but may not be patient with the statements".
Olmert condemned Netanyahu for being "obsessed with trying to fight Iran in Iran and destroy the atomic, or what he considered the nuclear installations", something Olmert considers a secondary threat.