its own unique lens, and while the state is attentive to all of its allies, the
Israeli government will be the only one to make decisions on the country’s
security and future, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday.
made the comments during a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido
Westerwelle in Berlin, where he said there was “growing recognition in the
international community that the Iranian military nuclear program is
consistently approaching the zone of immunity, and that sanctions need to be
stiffened, while talks need to be speeded up.”
Also on Wednesday, Barak
and Germany’s State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, Rüdiger Wolf, signed a
contract for the purchase of a sixth submarine for the Israel Navy.
new submarine would act as a “force multiplier” for the IDF, and assist in
dealing with growing security challenges, Barak said during the signing ceremony
“The agreement is an expression of the depth of relations with
Germany, and the German government’s commitment to the security of the state of
Israel,” Barak said. “The navy has in recent years undergone strategic changes
that place it at the forefront of the battle for Israel’s security, and as the
IDF’s long arm.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent a letter of
thanks to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the submarine, saying it will
“help us address Israel’s immense defense needs during these turbulent times,
and will contribute greatly to the long term security of the Jewish
On Tuesday, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said he
shared Israel’s fear of a nuclear-armed Iran, adding he is convinced Tehran
aimed to make nuclear weapons. He called for caution, however, and hinted at
Berlin’s opposition to a strike on Iran.
“I recommend all sides show
urgent restraint, both in their rhetoric and their action,” he told reporters at
a press conference in Berlin with Barak.
“A military escalation would
bring incalculable risks for Israel and the region, to the detriment of
Israel.”Herb Keinon and Reuters contributed to this report.