Israel: Iran is trying to deceive the world
Speaking at an international security forum, Defense Minister Ehud
Barak expresses pessimism about proposed nuclear talks between global
powers and Iran.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed little optimism on Saturday about
a proposed round of talks between global powers and Iran, which is
under pressure over its nuclear ambitions.
Iran says it will not discuss its nuclear program at the next set of
negotiations with the P5+1 group, which comprises the permanent members
of the UN Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the
United States - plus Germany.
The group wants Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. Tehran, which has
been hit with four rounds of United Nations sanctions over the last
four years, says its nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful and denies
it is seeking atomic weapons.
"We are still in the stage of diplomacy and sanctions," Barak said when
asked by reporters about the prospects for the talks, which are
tentatively scheduled to take place this month in Vienna.
"Based on experience and looking at the example which they (the
Iranians) are using, which is probably the North Korean example, you
can easily see ... the objective is to defy, decei(ve) and deter the
whole world," he said.
"I would be happy to ... end up finding myself wrong based on a future
development, but I wonder whether this will be the case," he told a
news conference at an international security forum in Canada hosted by
the German Marshall Fund.
The talks stalled more than a year ago. The P5+1 wants Iran to suspend
uranium enrichment in exchange for trade and diplomatic benefits, which
have been on the table since 2006.
Israel and Iran are arch-enemies. Israel, believed to possess the
Middle East's only atomic arsenal, has hinted it could attack Iran if
it deemed diplomacy had failed to remove what it sees as a menace to
"Iran is a major, major threat to any conceivable world order. It's
clear to all of us that they're determined to reach military nuclear
capability," Barak said during a panel
discussion at the forum.
He predicted a nuclear Iran would mean "the end of any conceivable
nonproliferation regime. It will end up with several members of the
Middle Eastern community find(ing)
themselves compelled to turn nuclear."
Iran has vowed to retaliate against any attacks with missile salvos on
Israel and U.S. targets in the Persian Gulf region.