Barak: Qom immune to regular strike

Barak Negotiations with

Iran's recently-revealed uranium enrichment site at Qom "has been under construction for years, and is hidden in bunkers which are immune to a regular strike," Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. He also mentioned recent clashes between opposition protesters and Iranian security forces, which he called "the crushing of civilians by the regime." "The free world isn't doing enough," he stated. On stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, Barak said that restarting negotiations was the only way to avoid bolstering Hamas. "The alternative to negotiations is a dead end, which will bring violence, and cause a rise in Hamas's power," he said. "Today, we are at an advantage, in a position of strength that allows us to make an agreement and bring about a reality of two states living side-by-side." The defense minister went on to say that if Israel "continues to control millions of Palestinians, it will end up with a state that is not Jewish, or a state which is not democratic - an apartheid state." "These two options do not fulfill the Zionist vision which stands at the forefront of the government's thought process," Barak added. He said that 2009 was "one of the quietest years," and predicted that 2010 would be "a year of threats and opportunities."