(JTA) — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said chances that Iran will give in to pressure to stop its suspected nuclear program are low, and that the dangers of a nuclear Iran outweigh the dangers of action to stop it.
Barak told an audience at Air Force House in Herzliya on Thursday, Israel’s Independence Day, that a nuclear Iran would launch a regional nuclear arms race and would embolden Iranian proxies that attack Israel, Israel Radio reported.
The Obama administration wants Israel to hold back while it leads the international community in isolating Iran and negotiating with it to make its nuclear program more transparent.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the delays caused by such negotiations allow Iran to enrich uranium unhindered. Iran says it is enriching uranium strictly for civilian purposes.
Barak in his speech said the likelihood of Iran giving into such pressure was low.
Confronting Iran militarily would pose dangers, he said, according to the radio report, and the chances of success were not "marvelous," but a nuclear Iran posed even greater dangers.
The U.S. government understands that Israel has different considerations when it comes to contemplating how to deal with Iran, he said, adding that Israel’s clock is "ticking faster" than that of the United States.
Barak said Israel and the United States were in open communication, but that "Israel must make its own decisions and take responsibility for them."