Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, expresses his concern over a nuclear Iran to American interviewer, Charlie Rose, and claimed that if he were an Iranian, he would certainly opt to develop nuclear weapons.On Wednesday, Barak gave his interview with Charlie Rose, expressing his concerns and views over the potential of Iran developing the bomb, the recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and over the looming arms race which would quickly ensue.
Barak stated in the interview that “It is clear that [Iran] is determined to achieve [military nuclear] capability.’ He expressed his negative opinion of former IAEA director, El Baradei, who is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, stating that it didn’t make sense, since he never “told the truth”.
Rose asked Barak if he were in Iran’s shoes, would he too strive to develop nuclear weapons. Barak replied with “Probably…I don’t delude myself that they are doing it just because of Israel. They have their history of 4,000 years. They look around, they see the Indians are nuclear, the Chinese are nuclear, and Pakistan is nuclear…” He also alluded to the unconfirmed status of Israel’s nuclear capabilities with: “Israel allegedly has it [military nuclear capability].”
The report, recently released by the IAEA, condemns Iran’s ongoing development of nuclear technology, which they believe in no uncertain terms are not merely for peaceful or civilian power production. They insist that Iran has been developing its technology since 2004,
Numerous governments have expressed their concern; William Hague, the Foreign Secretary for the United Kingdom, spoke in the House of Commons, calling for further economic and energy sanctions against Tehran- a cry echoed by numerous other European countries.
During the interview, Barak affirmed that it was in the interest of the international community to prevent Iran from developing these weapons. He claimed that the emergement of a nuclear Iran would merely fuel an arms race in the Middle East, whereby Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt would undoubtedly begin to develop their own nuclear ambitions.
He called for tougher sanctions, but explained that “all options are on the table,” and that whilst world leaders declaring likewise, nobody has the “political will” to act through the UN Security Council, or outside of it.
The Defence Minister made it clear that Israel must not be afraid to show it would be willing to tackle the Iranian problem by military force if required, but that Israel must also make it clear to the world that they “Understand the situation, and are ready to deal with it, and that this is a challenge not just for us, but for the whole world.”
On Thursday morning Barak gave another interview on Israeli Radio, where he somewhat pessimistically stated that whilst Israel was trying to convince the international community to impose stricter sanctions and further isolate Iran economically, he did not think that it would work. He did state that they are trying diplomatic channels first and foremost, in an attempt to avoid the alternative.