Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called Olmert "peculiar and lacking responsibility" over charges that Israel has wasted 11 Billion NIS on Iran.
Speaking on Israel's Channel 2, Olmert said: "In the last two years, 11bn shekels [$2.9bn] were spent on operations which were not and will not be carried out. These figures go well beyond the multi-year budgets. We were told that 2012 was the decisive year. They managed to scare the entire world, but nothing was done in the end."
In a interview to Aryeh Golan on Kol Yisrael's morning program this morning, Netanyahu rebuffed that charges, saying the defense investment were not wasteful, since Israel developed offensive and defensive capabilities to face the threats from Iran and its proxies. "I'm not going to say when and how we will strike Iran, but over the past four years we have built these capabilities. I'm serious about this," Netanyahu said.
When asked about Hagel's nomination, Netanyahu said he does not interfere with politics in the United States, but expressed hope that the U.S. will act on Iran based on Obama's public commitments, However "the Jewish State cannot allow herself to rely on others when it comes to Israel's security," Netanyahu added. "I'm focused on developing the capabilities to act."
Bringing up the Iranian issue, Netanyahu issued a plea to voters to grant him the strength and maneuverability to lead Israel by voting for Likud Beitenu. "We have raised the issue and developed the necessary capabilities and might to face the Iranian nuclear threat, due to the fact that we had a stable coalition over the past four years. But in order to continue and focus our efforts on Iran, we need a strong ruling part," Netanyahu reasserted.
After Livni, Netanyahu can now thank Olmert for raising the Iranian issue, 9 days before election day, giving Netanyahu an upper-hand on an issue that is his stronghold to lead the narrative in the final days of the campaign.