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.

Barak 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.

The 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 in Berlin.

“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 state.”

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.

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