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      Japanese PM Tells Barak: Iran Attack 'Dangerous'

      Defense Minister says Assad family will fall within weeks.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 2/16/2012, 6:14 PM

      Air Force F-15 (file)
      Air Force F-15 (file)
      Flash 90

      Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday that attacking Iran would be a "dangerous" move and "attempted to dissuade him from it," according to a report by a Japanese news agency.

      Noda warned that a strike on Iran could escalate the standoff between Iran and the West.

      On Thursday, Barak met his Japanese counterpart, Naoki Tanaka. The meeting dealt with a wide range of regional matters in the Middle East, as well as Asia-related issues.

      "The international community must join hands and stop Iran from reaching nuclear weapons through crippling sanctions," Barak told Tanaka. "A nuclear Iran is a danger to world stability and provides a tailwind for terror organizations worldwide."

      Barak mentioned the recent series of terror attacks against Israeli diplomatic targets as proof that Iran uses terror to destabilize the world.

      The Defense Minister said that the Assad family would fall from power in Syria in a few weeks' time. "The fall of the Assad family will be a blow to the Iran-Syria-Hizbullah axis," he added.

      Israel is monitoring with concern the transfer of advanced weapons systems from Syria to Lebanon, Barak said.