'Canadian counterpart to ask Barak about strike on Iran'

Peter MacKay says “dynamics have changed and will continue to change” on int'l concern over Iranian nuclear program, Canadian paper reports.

November 13, 2011 10:22
1 minute read.
Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay

Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay intends to ask Defense Minister Ehud Barak about reports that Israel is planning a strike on Iran's nuclear program, Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported on Sunday morning.

Speaking with reporters in Afghanistan, MacKay explained that “dynamics have changed and will continue to change” amid growing international concern surrounding the Islamic Republic's efforts at nuclear weapon development.

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With Iran's nuclear program at the top of his agenda, Barak was scheduled to travel to Ontario, Canada on Tuesday for two days to meet with MacKay and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He will then attend an annual NATO defense chiefs meeting before flying to New York to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

The defense minister said in an interview with Israel Radio last week that he is not optimistic that the international community has the will to come together in order to put a stop to Iran's nuclear program. However, the short period of time following the release of an Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Tehran's nuclear program presents the best opportunity for convincing the world to act against Iran.

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Iranian threat

While the Barak said he was not optimistic about any international action against Iran, specifically "deadly sanctions" targeting its financial institutions as well as physical sanctions, "I hope it will happen," he said.

In an interview with the BBC last Sunday, Barak hinted that a military strike on Iran was possible when he said that diplomacy was the preferred method to halt Tehran’s nuclear program, but that no option was off the table.

A nuclear Iran “can open a major nuclear arms race in the region,” he said.

Tovah Lazaroff, Greer Fay Cashman and Reuters contributed to this report.

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