Iran Strike: Israeli Defense Minister Not Ruling It Out

Israel’s defense minister is not ruling out the potentiality of the small nuclear-armed country to carry out preemptive strikes against its nuclear ambitious foe, Iran.

In an “Israel Radio” interview, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that his country would continue to recommend that no option be "off the table" in dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue – so long as crippling sanctions do not exist or “aren’t proven to be effective.”

Barak added that he is doubtful that the international community would impose sanctions that would be effective in thwarting Iran's nuclear goals.

The comments from the Israeli defense minister come ahead of the release of a report on Wednesday by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency that implicates Iran in building a bomb.

The report suggests that Iran has made computer models of a nuclear warhead and includes imagery of what is believed to be a container used for high explosives tests.

Iran continues to maintain that its nuclear ambitions are for solely energy purposes.

Nevertheless, much of the international community and some of Iran’s closest neighbors, are uncomfortable with the thought of a nuclear-armed Iran.

Israel in particular has expressed its discomfort with Iran acquiring a bomb and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying on Oct. 31, “If I had to summarize what will happen in our region, I would use two terms: instability and uncertainty.”

Netanyahu echoed sentiments that have gained media traction over the past week regarding the potential of a preemptive strike saying, “A security philosophy cannot rely on defense alone. It must also include offensive capabilities, which is the very foundation of deterrence.”

Meanwhile, Iran is labeling Israel’s threats as “media clamor.”

Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Tuesday that the threats circulating in the press have come at a time when both Israel and the United States are facing a heavy load of domestic problems. Vahidi brushed the threats off as a political tactic used to divert public attention from mounting domestic concerns in both countries.

Iran’s INSA news agency quoted Vahidi calling the threats a sign of weakness and saying, “In my opinion, they are the last groans of a dying movement of oppression out of which the Zionist regime (Israel) was born.”

In the face of international tension, China’s Foreign Ministry is urging its Iranian allies to show “flexibility and sincerity” over its nuclear program.

China, a staunch opponent to international intervention, also said that the Iranian nuclear issue “should be properly solved through dialogue and cooperation.”