Barak: Israel Won't Be Pressured Into Signing Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Defense Minister stresses that unlike other nations, Israel has never threatened to annihilate another nation.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday that Israel would not be pressured into signing the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, stressing that unlike other countries, Israel had never threatened to destroy another nation.

"There is no room to pressure Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel has never threatened to annihilate other nations and peoples, while today Iran, and also Syria, Libya and Iraq in the past, all of whom signed this treaty, have systematically violated its stipulations while explicitly threatening Israel's existence," Barak said during a memorial service for fallen Israel Defense Forces soldiers at the Defense Ministry.

"These days," he went on to say, "the threats against Israel have not ceased. Facing these threats is a strong army, ready and prepared, with the entire Israeli people behind it."

On Tuesday, United States President Barack Obama urged all countries, including Israel, to sign the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

"Whether we're talking about Israel or any other country, we think that becoming part of the NPT is important," Obama said. "And that, by the way, is not a new position. That's been a consistent position of the United States government, even prior to my administration."

Israel operates a policy of 'nuclear ambiguity,' refusing to neither confirm nor deny possessing atomic weapons - but has not signed the treaty and is believed by analysts to posses between 200 and 300 nuclear warheads.