Barak Rejects Reports He Now Opposes Israeli Strike on Iran

In interview with Globes, Defense Minister stresses that crisis between Israel and U.S. over Iran is 'exaggerated' and denies reports of growing distance between him and Netanyahu.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has rejected recent reports that he no longer supports an Israeli strike on Iran, Israel's Globes newspaper reported on Thursday.

In a special interview with Globes, Barak said that the "Iranian threat is very serious."

"It is extremely important that when Israel says it cannot allow Iran to attain nuclear capability and that all options are on the table that it means it."

Barak refuted claims in the media that he has distanced away from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "I always see eye to eye [with Netanyahu]. We see a similar threat. But if we had already made a decision, you would have known by now."

In the interview, Barak dismissed speculations of tensions between Israel and the United States over the Iran. "I'm saying loud and clear: there is something wrong with the discourse taking place here. The descriptions of the crisis and the differences between us and the Americans are extremely exaggerated."

Recently, there were reports that several senior Israeli officials suggested that Barak has done an about face and now opposes an Israeli attack on Iran in the near future. Last Thursday, Barak hinted that U.S. military preparations in the Persian Gulf may eliminate Israel's need to strike Iran.

"Israel retains its right to make sovereign decisions and the United States respects that," Barak said at an Atzmaut party gathering. "However, one should not ignore the impressive preparations by the Americans to counter Iran on all fronts."

Ehud Barak.
Moti Milrod
Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Nir Kafri