President Shimon Peres appears to be leading a coalition of government officials, MKs, and public figures who oppose Israeli action against Iran's nuclear program. A report on Channel 10 Saturday said that Peres has not only been expressing his opinion against a strike – he has been spreading his opinion at every opportunity, including at meetings with foreign dignitaries.
Peres is said to have pressed U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on the point when the two met several weeks ago, with Peres stressing that attacking Iran would not be a good idea. Peres' office had no comment on the story.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a weekend interview that Israel could not depend on the Americans to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Barak dismissed a pledge by U.S. President Barack H. Obama to move militarily against Iran's nuclear facilities next spring if sanctions fail to stop Tehran's activities. Barak said that there was no way for any leader to make that kind of guarantee so far in advance.
In addition, Barak said, it was impossible to guarantee that Obama would still be president next April, given the close contest for the U.S. Presidency, with elections set for November. And if Obama is not elected, Mitt Romney, as a new president, could not be expected to take on such a major task so early in his term. Within six months, Barak said, Iran would be at the “point of no return” in its nuclear program. Although it was easier to do nothing, “there are moments in history when a nation's leaders must make difficult decisions,” he said.