Daniel Tovrov – International Business Times March 19, 2012
“[Iran] is steadily approaching maturation and is verging on a ‘zone of immunity’ – a position from which the Iranian regime could complete its program without effective disruption, at its convenience,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.
The statement hints at Israel’s desire to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s suspect nuclear weapons program. Barak admitted that Israel is taking the threat of a nuclear-Iran more seriously than other nations.
“The world, including the current U.S. administration, understands and accepts that Israel necessarily views the threat differently than they do, and that ultimately, Israel is responsible for taking the decisions related to its future, its security and its destiny,” said Barak, indicating Israel’s belief that if developed, Iran’s nuclear weapons would be pointed directly at the Jewish state.
Barak has been openly in favor of a strike against Iran, while other members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet – such as President Shimon Peres – are trying to avoid an armed conflict.
Barak, however, did add that he wants stricter international sanctions to be placed on Iran to try to pressure Tehran diplomatically.
Still, Israel has previously made it clear that it would not wait for international approval to strike Iran. According to the government, Israel hasn’t decided yet if a strike is necessary.
Meanwhile, Iran’s military leaders met on Sunday to discuss ways to further develop its air defenses “in proportion to the enemy’s [Israel's] capabilities,” according to Iran’s official Press TV.
“We should disrupt the information system of the enemy and make efforts to fight against the global arrogance through the unity among the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and [Iran’s] Army,” Brigadier General Ameri said during the summit between the Revolutionary Guard and the Army.
In his address to the Israeli parliament, Barak also noted that attacks on Israelis aboard by Hezbollah have increased.
Hezbollah, a Lebanese military and political organization, receives funding from Iran.
“Hezbollah continues to increase the volume, range and destructive power of its rockets. The defense establishment must respond and prepare appropriately for Hezbollah’s increased capacity,” the defense minister said.