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 nuclear.

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.

If true, 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.

Prime 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.”

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