Barak - Salman - Feb. 2, 2012
Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Herzliya Conference, February 2, 2012. Photo by Emil Salman
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Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday that if sanctions on Iran's nuclear program do not prove effective, then military action against the Islamic Republic must be considered.

"Today, unlike in the past, there is widespread international belief that it is vital to prevent Iran from becoming 'nuclear' and that no option should be taken off the table," Barak said at the closing day of the Herzliya Conference.

"Should sanctions fail to stop Iran's nuclear program, there will be a need to consider taking action," he said.

He noted that many analysts believe that confronting a nuclear Iran will be much more complicated and dangerous, and will cost many more lives, than taking action today.
"Whoever says 'later', could find that it is too late," he stressed.

Barak added that Israel's challenge is to continue aiding the international community to work toward halting Iran's nuclear program, "without taking any option off the table."

Earlier Thursday, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that all of Iran's nuclear facilities are vulnerable to a military strike, adding that the specter of a nuclear Iran would be a "nightmare to the free world."

Ya'alon also indicated that an explosion which virtually destroyed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard missile base near Tehran late last year targeted a system that was "preparing to produce a missile with a range of 10,000 kilometers, thus threatening the United States."