In an interview Tuesday with the Daily Telegraph, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel almost attacked Iran eight months ago – but that the “moment of truth” was postponed after Iran redirected part of its enriched uranium to civilian uses. Without that decision, a confrontation with Iran would have almost certainly developed, said Barak.
When asked why he thought Iran made this decision, Barak said that there are at least three explanatioms. One was the public discussion about a possible attack on Iran. It could also be the result of diplomatic pressure not to make things more tense before the U.S. presidential elections. It could also be an attempt by Iran to show the International Atomic Energy Agency that it can comply with international requets when it wishes, Barak added.
When asked about future Israeli plans to attack Iran, Barak said simply that “Israel reserves the right to defend itself, by itself. An action against Iran will be much safer than an attack against an Iran that achieves nuclear capability.” Sanctions and diplomatic pressure have not worked, said Barak, and he warned that as a result, Israel and its allies will have to deal with the decision on whether or not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities “in the coming year.”