In 2006, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Germany's Sat. 1 channel:
"Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly, threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel and Russia?"
Later he denied what viewers clearly heard him say. Calls for him to step down followed. So did accusations of ineptitude for acknowledging Israeli nuclear weapons publicly.
Israel always stuck to its nuclear ambiguity position. Olmert later backtracked. Damage control didn't assuage criticism. Opposition party members called him irresponsible.
Meretz party member Yossi Beilin said:
"The prime minister's amazing statement regarding nuclear capability indicates a lack of caution bordering on irresponsibility."
Olmert's approval rating plunged. Aides tried frantically to limit damage. His spokesman, Miri Eisin, said his comments didn't mean Israel had or wants nuclear weapons.
Of course, the cat was out of the bag after Mordechai Vanunu revealed it 20 years earlier. Damage control made things worse. Vanunu welcomed Olmert's admission, accidental or otherwise. He hoped he said it intentionally, saying:
"For 20 years, they tried to deny me and my story, but the policy of cheating and lying didn't succeed."
Changes are taking place, he added. He hoped his situation would improve. It didn't. He still chafes under repressive Israeli policies. Practically under house arrest, he's harassed. His fundamental rights are denied. He wants his citizenship revoked and permission to leave, but Israel won't grant either right.