Israeli Defense Minister: Speculation on Possible Iran Strike "Delusional"

(Washington Post) Joel Greenberg - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed skepticism Tuesday that the IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program would lead to effective international sanctions, but he stressed that Israel has "not yet" decided to take military action against Iran. At the same time, Barak played down the cost of such a strike, saying it would not have devastating consequences for Israel. In an interview on Israel Radio, Barak dismissed as "delusional" media speculation that Israel has decided to strike Iran's nuclear complexes. Barak dismissed concerns that military action could lead to heavy casualties in an Iranian counterstrike or in missile attacks by Hizbullah and Hamas. "Let's assume we get to war against our will," Barak said. "There's no real danger either to Israel's existence or to its ability to withstand [attacks]....There's no existential threat to Israel from the types of rockets and missiles held by Iran and Hizbullah." Barak said the conclusion to be drawn from the IAEA report is that "we apparently have a last chance for globally coordinated, lethal sanctions that will force Iran to stop" a drive for nuclear weapons. Those sanctions should include blocking international financial transactions by Iran's central bank and steps to halt imports of Iranian oil and exports of refined petroleum to Iran. But Barak added that he had "very great doubt" that such crippling sanctions would actually be put into practice.

2011-11-09 00:00:00

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