Daily Israel Report

Barak: Talks Don’t Give Iran Immunity from Strike

Israel did not give the U.S. a commitment to hold off from striking Iran while talks are ongoing, says Defense Minister.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/17/2012, 11:25 AM

Barak and Panetta meet in Washington
Barak and Panetta meet in Washington
Reuters

Israel has not given the U.S. a commitment to hold off from striking Iran while the U.S. and other countries are holding talks with the Persian theocracy, said Defense Minister Ehud Barak Tuesday.

In an interview on IDF Radio's morning news show, Barak said that he does not believe the attempts to stop Iran's nuclear program through negotiation will succeed.

"We are not part of the negotiations," he said, "but we think the Americans have a goal of stopping Iran – yet we believe that the chances are not high that the sort of steps that are being taken will cause Iran to fold its nuclear program."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has dismissed Iranian appeals for easing of sanctions against it before Tehran makes concessions on uranium enrichment.

"The burden of action falls on the Iranians to demonstrate their seriousness and we're going to keep the sanctions in place and the pressure on Iran" as preparations are made for the next round of talks in Baghdad in May, Clinton said at a press conference with Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota on Saturday. "And we'll respond accordingly,"

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called on the West to lift its sanctions if it wants to resolve the showdown over Tehran's nuclear program. He hinted Iran could make concessions on uranium enrichment in return.

"I believe in action for action," Clinton said, but made clear that Iran must make the first move.