At his visit to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an AIPAC founded think tank, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak reiterated his calls for Western nations to keep “all options” open in moving against Iran. But more importantly, he suggested Israel might attack Iran even beyond American objections.
“I don’t think that there is a need to coordinate in this regard,” Barak insisted, adding later in the speech that Israel has always “felt very proud that we never asked the Americans to come and fight for us.”
US officials have repeatedly expressed opposition to a unilateral Israeli attack, noting that it would be perceived internationally as an attack by the United States, which has provided Israel with enormous military aid over the years.
Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran over the past several years, and has also pressed the United States and other nations to impose “crippling sanctions” on them to punish them for their civilian nuclear program, while claiming the program could be an “existential threat” to Israel some day.
But even as Barak reiterated the long-standing threats to attack Iran, he openly downplayed the threat Iran posed to Israel, insisting “I don’t think the Iranians, even if they got the bomb, would drop it in the neighborhood.”
Despite repeatedly claims from Israel and the US, there is no proof Iran has an active nuclear weapons program, and the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed that the civilian nuclear program is not diverting any material to non-civilian use. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, last week declared that nuclear weapons were religiously forbidden. Israel on the other hand is believed to have hundreds of nuclear weapons and is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.