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      Barak: Iran Strike – Only with Government Vote

      Defense Minister Ehud Barak says decision to strike Iran would be made with government approval.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 8/9/2012, 1:38 PM

      Israeli pilots board F16s (archive)
      Israeli pilots board F16s (archive)
      Flash 90

      An Israeli strike on Iran would happen only with the authorization of the government, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Thursday, speaking to Reshet Bet.

      “The media portrayal, as if two people are sitting and plotting an attack, is utterly absurd,” he said.

      Barak noted that the United States and Israel are approaching a common assessment of the situation. A recent U.S. report shows that Iran has made significant progress in its nuclear program, bringing the U.S. view of the urgency of the situation closer to Israel’s, he said.

      Barak denied having been told by U.S. officials that Saudi Arabia has threatened to shoot down Israeli planes heading for Iran. Saudi Arabia is among the countries considered at risk of an Iranian attack, and is reportedly getting U.S. assistance in protecting itself with a missile defense system.

      Barak also spoke to Reshet Bet about the situation in the Sinai Peninsula, where terrorism has become an increasing threat. Egyptian troops are capable of dealing with the problem, he said, but it is not clear whether they will do so.

      Barak’s statement could be taken as a hint that Israel will not approve additional Egyptian forces in Sinai. Egypt has previously argued that Sinai terrorism means peace accords limiting military buildup in the region must be violated in order to maintain order.