Israeli defense minister evasive on Iran strike possibility
NEW YORK, November 20 (RIA Novosti) - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has refused to say whether Israel is planning a preemptive strike on Iran.
“I don’t think that is a subject for public discussion,” Barak said in an interview due to air on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS program on Sunday, when asked whether Israel is going to attack Iran.
“But I can tell you that the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] report has a sobering impact on many in the world, leaders as well as the public, and people understand that the time has come,” he said.
Western powers and Israel suspect Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies this, saying its program is of a civilian nature. Speculation has been building that Israel is considering a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
“People understand now that Iran is determined to reach nuclear weapons. No other possible or conceivable explanation for what they have been actually doing. And that should be stopped,” the Israeli defense minister said.
The IAEA Board of Governors on Friday passed a resolution on Iran, drafted by a group of international mediators, by a 32-2 vote with one abstention.
The resolution, sponsored by the Iran Six, including Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany, urges Iran to provide access to its nuclear facilities for UN experts and cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.
The Iran Six has been trying since 2003 to convince Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment program.
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