Barak criticizes Olmert, others on Iran

May 3, 2012 at 7:14 AM
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JERUSALEM, May 3 (UPI) -- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak criticized former Israeli leaders Thursday for minimizing the threat from Iran and his efforts to raise awareness.

Barak denounced one-time Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, and former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin for their criticisms of him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu concerning Iran, Yisrael Hayom reported.

"[The] Olmert gang is traveling around the world and speaking in a way that is serving Iran," he said.

In response, Olmert said Barak was leaving behind "great damages" and will "surely soon disappear" from Israeli politics, Haaretz reported.

Olmert said in a statement he, Dagan and Diskin "dealt with the most sensitive matters regarding Israel's security" for years and were "positive that Barak -- who will surely soon disappear from the Israeli political map -- is leaving behind him great damages that harm the state's security and every Israeli citizen must be alarmed."

In his interview, Barak denounced the former prime minister and the one-time defense chiefs for "weakening Israeli leaders' accomplishment of turning the Iranian issue into an important and urgent one -- not only to Israel but to the world,"

Barak also hinted that the Israeli parliament may have to pass more stringent laws to prevent former members associated with defense from discussing specific security issues publicly, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The controversy began Friday when Diskin criticized the current government's policies on Iran, saying the leadership of Barak and Netanyahu didn't inspire confidence.

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