Air Force F-15
Air Force F-15Israel news photo: Flash 90

Iran is convinced that Israeli and the United States are unable to stage an attack on its nuclear facilities, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) Wednesday morning.

He added that Iran is only trying to buy time while it tries to reach the point where it cannot be successfully attacked and can develop the capability to manufacture a nuclear weapon.

Speaking at an INSS conference at Tel Aviv University, Barak warned, “The Iranian threat is significant and is not disappearing. We are at a fateful crossroads." Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spelled out at the conference Tuesday night Israel’s demands from the world powers trying to reach an agreement with Iran over international supervision of its nuclear program. Iran already is enriching  20 percent grade uranium, a key element for a nuclear weapon, and Israel wants it to be restricted to "zero enrichment."

“Why not draw clear red lines,” Barak said in his lecture, adding that the Iranian Ayatollah and his aides “are not dumb and correctly understand [their nuclear program] is being exposed and that action might be taken to endanger their progress.

Barak also warned, “The practicality of their actions is to buy more time until it is immune to an attack and can take the additional step of manufacturing a nuclear weapon.”

He explained that the  “Iranians work systematically and  patiently” towards their nuclear objective.

The Defense Minster said the world’s objective must be “to stop Iran from gaining nuclear capability, and no option should be taken off the table.”

He said that besides the Iranian threat, Israel faces other challenges from terrorism in general and from the entire situation in the Middle East.

Noting that he and Prime Minister Netanyahu do not “take decisions by ourselves in some dark room," Barak declared, “The government of Israel is responsible for taking decisions on the future of the security f the country – and I carefully add for the Jewish people, most of whom live in our tiny country.”