Barak: U.S.-Iran nuclear talks have 'very low' chance of success
Defense Minister says Iran nuclear program poses 'most serious potential threat' against Israel.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday that new diplomatic overtures made by the United States to Iran were highly unlikely to halt the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
"I believe that the chance the dialogue has of stopping Iran's nuclear efforts is very low," Barak told Army Radio.
"I also believe the Americans understand this. They only think that there is logic to this, even if the chance is low... in order to contend with what needs to, or is likely to happen in the future."
Since coming to power in January, U.S. President Barack Obama has made some diplomatic overtures to Iran that have so far been rebuffed.
He said last week he would not pursue this policy indefinitely and would like to see some progress on the nuclear issue by the end of this year.
Barak added that Iran posed one of the most "serious potential threats" against Israel. He repeated that Israel would not take any options off the table with regard to Tehran's nuclear program.
Israel, the United States and other western nations say the program is aimed at manufacturing nuclear weapons. Iran, the world's forth largest oil producer, insists the program is for civilian purposes only.
Barak's comments came a day after Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Iran could be within one to three years from developing a nuclear weapon and that time was running out for diplomacy to defuse the problem.