Iran Only Year Away From Bomb: Barak

Defense Minister Won't Say if Israel Plans Preemptive Attack

A Year Away: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak tells CNN that Iran is just a year away from being on an unstoppable path to building a nuclear weapon.
getty images
A Year Away: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak tells CNN that Iran is just a year away from being on an unstoppable path to building a nuclear weapon.

By Haaretz

Published November 19, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Iran is less than a year away from being unstoppable in its goal of producing a nuclear weapon, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview with CNN released on Saturday.

In an advance transcript of an interview to air on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” program on Sunday, Barak said Israel was focused on the prospect of a nuclear Iran and what “should and could be done about it on time.”

“It’s true that it won’t take three years, probably three quarters before no one can do anything practically about it because the Iranians are gradually, deliberately entering into what I call a zone of immunity, by widening the redundancy of their plan, making it spread over many more sites with many more hidden elements,” he said.

Barak, a former Israeli prime minister, said a report earlier this month by the UN nuclear watchdog that Tehran appeared to have worked on designing an atomic bomb and may still be conducting secret research had had a sobering effect on world leaders and was driving urgent, intensive diplomacy.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report confirmed long-standing concerns that Iran aims to build a nuclear weapon, which Israel sees as a threat to its existence. Tehran has said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

The United States and Israel have not ruled out possible air strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites.

“I don’t think that that is a subject for public discussion,” Barak said when asked whether Israel was prepared to attack Iran to stop its nuclear ambitions.

He said a nuclear Iran would have deep repercussions for the Middle East, prompting countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt to “turn nuclear” and starting a countdown to putting nuclear materials in the hands of terrorists.

Barak declined to comment on widespread speculation an explosion at an Iranian military base last week that killed 17 troops including an officer regarded as the architect of Iran’s missile defense systems was the work of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency.

“No. I don’t know anything that I can contribute to this conversation,” he said.

Iran has said the explosion took place during research on weapons that could strike Israel but has denied speculation of possible sabotage by Israel or the United States.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.