'Barak put political interests before national ones'

Vice PM Ya'alon slams defense minister, accusing him of presenting himself as a moderate despite sharing the same views as Netanyahu on Iranian threat; says it's possible to halt Tehran's nuclear program without strike.

Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon 370 (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon 370
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon on Saturday accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak of putting his own political interests ahead of national matters of importance.
Speaking at a cultural event in Ramat Gan, Ya'alon said that though Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu see eye-to-eye on the issue of the Iranian threat, the latter abandoned their shared stance at the last minute, and presented himself as a moderate. "When you place yourself as the moderate, you get credit, also in the United States," he said.
Ya'alon's comments follow a dispute between Netanyahu and Barak that broke out last week when a conversation was leaked to the press, in which Netanyahu told Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz that the defense minister was undermining him during recent meetings in the US.
Ya'alon expressed his belief that it is possible to halt Iran's nuclear program without using military force and said that it is necessary to force the Iranian regime choose between continuing their nuclear program and survival.
The vice premier emphasized that the Iranian regime is facing a hopeless economic situation. He added that a military strike on Iran must be the last option and added that it would have been appropriate to place economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic long ago.
Turning to Egypt, the minister opined that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi would have canceled the peace treaty with Israel if his country wasn't dependent on US aid.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report