Defense Minister Ehud Barak likened the possibility of a diplomatic solution to the impasse over Iran's nuclear program to "a miracle" in a Washington Post interview Wednesday. Since the secular Barak is no great believer in miracles, it can be gleaned that he does not believe diplomacy will solve the problem, and expects military action to take place.
"Whoever thinks that it’s complicated to deal with Iran right now, as some think-tank leaders are writing: Just close your eyes and think what it will mean to deal with these very same issues once Iran turns nuclear as a result of an absence of political will," Barak explained to the Post's Lally Weymouth. "It will be much more dangerous, much more costly in terms of human lives and financial resources. And it will become nuclear if the world will not be tough enough to stop it."
"We always hope it will be solved by the free will of the ayatollahs, by the effectiveness of the sanctions, by the creativity of diplomacy or by any other miracle," he added. "When we say that we are determined to prevent them, and we should all be determined, including the American leadership, the European leadership, the Russians, the Chinese, we mean what we say and that is all I can say."
Regarding Syria, Barak said that while the fall of Bashar Assad entails risks, it is still desirable. "There is a certain risk that Hizbullah will try to grab some weapons systems, some anti-aircraft systems or some long-range missiles from the falling Syrian regime. Some people even raise the risk that they will try to grab some chemical materials. We still prefer to see [Assad] fall, even with all those risks."