Talks between Iran and world powers will not lead Tehran to stop its nuclear program, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

Barak also expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of sanctions on Iran.

“The time we have left for facing Iran is not a matter of weeks, but it’s not a matter of a few years either,” the defense minister warned.

According to Barak, Iran and Hezbollah are backing Syrian President Bashar Assad. Tehran does not want Assad’s regime to fall since that would “harm the radical axis they lead,” he explained.

At the same time, Barak said Assad’s fall is inevitable.

The defense minister said he opposes the theory that ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will solve all of the region’s problems, adding that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is responsible for the lack of progress in negotiations.

“Israel has what to lose, and the continuation of the current quiet situation cannot be taken for granted,” Barak stated. “A diplomatic freeze does not serve Israeli interests.”

Hamas’s status among Palestinians has been enhanced, as it is backed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Barak added that terrorist groups in Gaza are developing missiles with a range of 70 km.

“It would be wrong to cut the defense budget when looking at our situation,” he stated. “We must let the IDF make plans for the coming years.”

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