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Barak Says Israelis Talk Too Much about Iran; ‘Israel is Safe’

Defense Minister Ehud Barak says the Iranian threat is exaggerated and Israel’s existence is not in danger.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/8/2011, 12:15 PM

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Defense Ministry

The possibility of Israel’s attacking Iran has been headlined in Israeli media for a week, spearheaded by comments by Meir Dagan, who until recently was head of the Mossad. He said a military strike would be absurd.

Barak, speaking on Voice of Israel government radio, expressed thinly-veiled criticism on Dagan on others, saying that the talk of an attack was superfluous and caused unnecessary panic.

One media report this week rang the alarm bells that tens of thousands of Israeli would die in a confrontation with Iran.

Barak said in the interview Tuesday that not even a few hundred would die, and that although Israel is preparing for all scenarios, no decision has been made for a military operation.

Responding to other reports that the United States is upset about Israel’s attacking without prior notice to Washington, Barak said, “We are a sovereign nation.”