Barak: Israel's stance unchanged, Iran must be stopped

Defense minister proposes waiting for IAEA report to show world Iranian threat is international; all options should be on table, Barak says.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
November 4, 2011 15:47
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Ehud Barak 521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Israel's position on Iran has not changed, despite recent Israeli media reports of a possible strike on Iran, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Friday.

"I propose we wait and see the IAEA report," he said, adding that he believes if they will be "daring enough to say bluntly what they know about [Iran's] nuclear program," the world will understand the Iranian threat is international.

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Speaking in an interview with Stephen Sakur on the BBC, the minister repeated Israel's position that Iran must be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons and that no options should be taken off the table to that end.

Barak also addressed the peace process, explaining that Israel must be "proactive" by accepting the Quartet's proposals and entering into immediate negotiations with the Palestinians.

The minister said that he doesn't believe Israel's recent decision to approve housing construction is an obstacle to peace talks. The Palestinians were willing to enter into negotiations with Barak when he was prime minister and with former prime minister Ehud Olmert, he continued, despite accelerated construction during their terms.

The difference, he explained, is that now that the Palestinians believe world opinion favors their cause they have chosen "to move to the General Assembly instead of the negotiating table."

Referring to Israel's decision to cut its security funding to the Palestinian Authority, Barak said that he believes the issue will be solved. It is not in Israel's interest for the PA to collapse, he added.

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