Barak says nuke-armed Iran couldn't destroy Israel

Barak says nuke-armed Iran couldn't destroy Israel

A nuclear-armed Iran would not be capable of destroying Israel, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday in remarks that departed from long-running Israeli arguments about the threat posed by its foe, Reuters reported.

"Right now, Iran does not have a bomb. Even if it did, this would not make it a threat to Israel's existence. Israel can lay waste to Iran," Barak said in a transcript of a newspaper interview obtained by Reuters before publication on Friday.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly sounded alarms over Iran's atomic ambitions, pointing at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map" and support for Islamist guerrilla groups arrayed along Israel's borders.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a right-winger who brought the center-left Barak into his coalition government, said he saw "eye to eye" with the defense minister -- signaling a possible change in Israel's official rhetoric as world powers prepare to revive diplomatic engagement with Iran next month.

Tehran says its nuclear plans are peaceful and has resisted U.S.-led diplomatic pressure to curb its uranium enrichment, a process with bomb-making potential. Israel is assumed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal, developed in secret as a safeguard against a repeat of the World War Two Nazi genocide.

"I don't think we are on the brink of a new Holocaust," Barak said in his interview with Yedioth Ahronoth daily.

SANCTIONS SOUGHT

"Say Saudi Arabia buys, at some stage, two bombs. This would not mean it's all over for the country. Furthermore, I think Iran is a challenge for Israel and for the whole world. Now is the time for a diplomatic effort and toughened-up sanctions."

U.S. President Barack Obama has offered Tehran negotiations without preconditions but said he sought progress by year's end.

Failing that, Israel has urged sanctions targeting Iran's sensitive energy sector, but Russia and China are expected to block any such resolution at the U.N. Security Council.

Israel, which bombed an Iraqi reactor in 1981 and carried out a similar sortie against Syria in 2007, as hinted at preemptive strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities if it deems diplomacy a dead end. The United States has also not ruled out military intervention as a last resort.

"I would like to make clear that all options are open. We are not taking any options off the table," Barak said in the interview transcript, which was supplied by his office.

Barak's comments were excerpted in Yedioth on Thursday and drew a supportive, if more cautious, response from Netanyahu.

"I know that we see eye to eye on this challenge and on this danger. It is certainly a very great danger," he told Israel's Channel Two television.

"But I think that what the defense minister wanted to say, something that I believe, is that the State of Israel will be able to defend itself in any situation," Netanyahu said.

TCO talks release of excess amount pollutants at Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field
TCO talks release of excess amount pollutants at Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field
Volume of Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 oil export to Spain disclosed
Volume of Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 oil export to Spain disclosed
Cost of electricity imports to Georgia increase
Cost of electricity imports to Georgia increase
Loading Bars
Latest
Number of Kazakh companies increases in Turkey
Turkey unveils volume of cargo shipment through Kocaeli port
Onion exports from Georgia up, while imports decrease
Azerbaijan's Ganja Automobile Plant looks to enter markets of EAEU, neighboring countries
TCO talks release of excess amount pollutants at Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field
Azerbaijan eyes to introduce biometric e-signature system
Verizon loses more-than-expected wireless subscribers
Pace of Turkmen industry dev’t accelerating
Volume of Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 oil export to Spain disclosed
Austria increases import of Turkish-made chemicals
Silk Way West Airlines named ‘Cargo Airline of the Year 2020’
Turkey's 1Q2021 furniture export to Austria shows increase
Turkey's furniture export to Iran up
WB says global coal prices to jump in 2021
Cost of electricity imports to Georgia increase
Iran's Jam Petrochemical Complex sees increase in sales
Ukrainian Bees Airline plans to carry out Kyiv - Tbilisi - Kyiv flights
Azerbaijani state budget receipts through State Customs Committee exceed forecasts
Israel and UK consider green travel corridor
Chanel loses European court fight in trademark dispute with Huawei
Azerbaijan records decrease in lending to communications, transport sector
US committed to help diversify economic opportunities for people of Kazakhstan
101-year-old Malaysian INA veteran honoured
Roaming tariffs to be decreased within Eastern Partnership over next 5 years – deputy minister
Kazakhstan increases exports to UK
Iran receives part of its frozen funds from S.Korea to purchase COVID-19 vaccine
Kazakh-German oil extracting JV opens tender to buy batteries
Russia played major role in stopping armed conflict in Karabakh region - Putin
Turkey reveals cargo shipment volumes via its Tekirdag port
Value of Turkish furniture imports by France increases
Turkmenistan's import of Turkish electrical goods soars
BP announces West Azeri planned maintenance program
Passenger cars manufacturing surges in volume in Kazakhstan
Iran to commission over 100 industrial enterprises in Qom Province
Turkmenistan's Turkmennebit reveals data on production, supply of gas
Uzbekneftegaz reveals prices of petrol supplied for exchange trading for Apr. 12-16
PAYSIS names conditions for effectiveness of marketplaces in Azerbaijan
Uzbekistan, Latvia expanding trade and economic co-op
Number of mortgage loans issued by Uzbek commercial banks increased
Second container train from China reaches Baku
Carbon capture capacities to see 250% increase by 2030
Austria's 1Q2021 import of Turkish cars up in value
Instagram launches feature to tackle hate speech, abuse
Armenian fascism - ugliest, most brutal of all that existed in other countries - Azerbaijani president
Emirates may need to raise cash if air travel does not pick up
We are implementing Zangazur corridor, whether Armenia wants it or not - President Aliyev
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 21
Azerbaijan's state budget revenues from State Tax Service exceed forecast
Turkey unveils 2M2021 volume of cargo received by Istanbul port
Uzbekneftegaz to buy synthetic zeolite via tender
German companies' 1Q2021 total capital in Turkey grows
Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 state budget spending mostly account for current costs
Production of certain goods in Iran increases
In near future, construction of new airport will be launched in Zangilan district - Azerbaijani president
I hope that draft version of master plan of city of Aghdam will be submitted by end of May - President Aliyev
Our plans are to take Armenia to international courts - President Aliyev
In general, there are plans to create about 50 agricultural estates - President of Azerbaijan
We are seeing results of work carried out in Hajigabul district - Azerbaijani president
Main goal of creating large agricultural estates - to ensure food security, says Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijani people will return to Zangazur, which was taken away from us 101 years ago - President Aliyev
Iran's economic cooperation with Pakistan to grow
Supply of electricity to liberated territories will be completed by end of this year - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan's SOFAZ discloses amount of transfers to state budget for 1Q2021
IMF says breakeven oil price for Azerbaijan to drop in 2022
Iran begins new discussions within North-South Corridor
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for April 21
Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 oil export slightly declines
Azerbaijan boosts gas exports
Amazon to let Whole Foods shoppers pay with a swipe of their palm
UAE may impose virus curbs on unvaccinated people
Georgia reports 1,310 coronavirus cases for April 21
Wix launches mobile app to expand customer base
China interested in more gas supplies from Russia
BP, Turkey agree on new transportation fee for Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan – sources
WB to support transport and logistics in Georgia
Repairs at Uzbek Mubarek plant have no impact on gas processing volume
Economy minister reveals total investments in industrialization in Azerbaijan
Iran boosts dried fruit exports
Gold price in Azerbaijan grows
Azerbaijan unveils volume of oil production from ACG, Shah Deniz fields for 1Q2021
Kazakhstan to auction off several land plots for subsoil use
President Rouhani talks Iran's Health Reform Plan
India to send 10 MT life-saving drugs to Sudan
Azerbaijan discloses 1Q2021 state budget revenues
Iran’s PMO talks about cargo movements in Dayyer port
Azerbaijan reveals 1Q2021 gas production indicators from ACG, Shah Deniz fields
Baku Higher Oil School wins Regional Petrobowl Competition
Kazakhstan's monetary base value surges
Memorandum of understanding signed between Turkmen, Kyrgyz coworking centers
Germany increases exports of locally-made goods to Kazakhstan
PM Modi’s visit to Portugal for India-EU summit called off, virtual summit on 8 May
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Bangladesh to increase cooperation in trade remedies
Uzbekistan talks increase of competitiveness of Trans-Caspian int’l transport route within Turkic Council
Bulgaria receives significant cargo permits from Georgia - Ministry
UK inflation rises to 0.7% in March as clothing and fuel prices grow
Georgia lowers import of Turkish-made chemicals
Turkmen company continues construction of passenger car terminal
Export of Turkish furniture to Uzbekistan surges
Production of petrochemical products Jam Petrochemical Complex increases
Cargo Targeting System to increase transit potential of Azerbaijan - SCC
All news