Israel may have to consider ending the internal war within its government before launching an attack on Iran in the name of its alleged nuclear weapons program. Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak, who is believed to be pushing for military action against Iran, slammed President Shimon Peres, following newspaper reports which said that Peres is expected to tell U.S. President Barack Obama that he doesn't believe Israel should attack Iran soon.
Peres is scheduled to meet Obama early next month and clear the general assumption that Israeli government is pushing for military action against Iran, Haaretz newspaper reported, quoting officials familiar with Peres' position with regard to the simmering hostilities.
Barak responded to the media reports with a sarcastic rant aimed at Peres: With all due respect to various officeholders from the past and present, the rumor that there is (only) one government in Israel has also reached the United States.
In the end, there is an elected (Israeli) government that makes the decisions and that is its responsibility, Haaretz reported quoting Barak.
Once considered a war hawk who grew up to win the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, Peres' foreign policy outlook has evolved greatly over the years.
Peres made it clear in 2008 that he doesn't favor military attack on Iran, even if a nuclear Iran meant an existential threat to the Jewish state. I am not in favor of a military attack on Iran, but we must quickly and decisively establish a strong, aggressive coalition of nations that will impose painful economic sanctions on Iran, he said on the Iranian nuclear program.
However, Peres had asserted that Iran attaining a nuclear bomb is a complicated threat for Israel. In a way it's more complicated than in the time of the Nazis. Hitler didn't have a nuclear bomb, he said.
Despite their differences of opinion regarding matters of military action, it is rather unusual for Barak to have launched into a rant against Peres, since both of them have been regularly meeting every Sunday before the cabinet meetings.
Peres will meet Obama on the sidelines of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington on March 4.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also scheduled to visit Washington D.C. next month, has been maintaining extreme opacity over the war plans with its most important strategic partner, the U.S.
According to the U.S. intelligence officials, Iran is unlikely to terminate their clandestine nuclear weapons program and a U.S.-Israel attempt to terminate the program with military action could lead to disaster.
Already a target of a series of U.N. sanctions resolutions and numerous unilateral penalties from several nations over the undercover nuclear warheads program, Iran's hostile relationship with Israel and its ally the U.S. has led to a standoffish atmosphere in the Gulf region.