Ehud Barak at Independence press conference 370.
(photo credit: Ricardo Mallaco)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday – the same day Iran announced it
had added 1,000 more centrifuges – that dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran would
be much more deadly and costly than confronting Tehran before it goes
Barak, speaking to the graduating class of the National Defense
College, said that Israel’s leaders were facing the most “complicated and
complex” security challenges the country had ever faced.
Barak touched on
a recurrent theme in his comments – that the international community’s failure
to stop the massacre in Syria should be a lesson to Israel about the world’s
inability to enlist the “political will, unity of purpose and ability to act
even when the reality necessitates it.”
Saying that the Arab Spring had
gradually turned into an Islamic summer, Barak said that at its moment of truth
Israel could rely only on itself.
The defense minister added that he was
well aware of the difficulties and complexities involved in stopping Iran from
obtaining nuclear arms.
“But,” he said, “it is perfectly clear to me that
dealing with this challenge when it matures, if it matures, will be inestimably
more complex, inestimably more dangerous and inestimably more costly in human
life and resources.”
Barak’s words came the same day that Iran defiantly
made clear that it was moving forward with its nuclear activities. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying Iran currently had “11,000
centrifuges active in enrichment facilities” in the country.
this would amount to an increase of 1,000 centrifuges in the past two months,
since the International Atomic Energy Agency put the number of centrifuges
spinning in Iran at 10,000 in a report it released in late May.
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has warned consistently in recent months that
Iran was moving steadily forward with its nuclear program under the cover of
talks with world powers, said in a recorded message aired at the National
Defense College graduation ceremony that in a region surrounded by missiles the
best defense was “the ability to attack.”
Netanyahu said that while
Israel had harnessed the international community to apply heavy pressure on
Iran, Jerusalem was “committed to doing everything in our power to stop the
nuclearization of Iran.”