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October 31, 2012 11:01 am

Barak: At Last Minute, Iran Avoided Crossing Nuclear Threshold

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Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Photo: Ariel Harmoni/Israeli Defense Ministry.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that Iran almost crossed the nuclear weapons threshold during the past summer, but at the last moment decided to divert its enriched uranium for civilian use instead.

In an interview with British daily The Telegraph published on Wednesday, Barak said that had Iran decided to use the uranium for military purposes, Israel’s “moment of truth” would have arrived, referring to Israel’s stated intention to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons even if it had to use military force to do so.

According to Barak, diplomatic efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program will ultimately fail and Israel and its allies will have to decide whether to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities “next year.” Barak told The Telegraph, “To tell you the truth, out of long experience of the Middle East, I am extremely skeptical about the chances that it [sanctions] will lead the ayatollahs to sit together at any point in the foreseeable future and decide to give up their intention to go in the footsteps of Pakistan and North Korea and turn into a military nuclear power.”

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