Reuters: Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak refused on Wednesday to rule out a military strike on Iran, his comment came just hours after Israel's foreign minister said the Jewish state would not do so.
WASHINGTON, June 3 (Reuters) – Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak refused on Wednesday to rule out a military strike on Iran, his comment came just hours after Israel's foreign minister said the Jewish state would not do so.
"I repeat what I have always said, we are not taking any options off the table," Barak said after meetings with officials from U.S. President Barack Obama's administration in Washington.
Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said earlier during a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow that "Israel is not planning to bomb Iran."
Widely believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear power, Israel has repeatedly described Iran's uranium enrichment as a threat to its existence and has said all options were on the table in preventing Tehran from building atomic weapons.
Barak said Israel "supports the Obama administration's initiative" to try to talk Iran out of trying to build nuclear weapons "but believe this should be limited to a set timeframe."
He added that it would not take long to discover Iran's nuclear aspirations.
"We are talking about a number of months, no more. Whether it is late August, or early or mid September, it should be enough to understand whether the Iranians are serious (about compromise) or whether they are just playing for time," Barak said.
Iran says its nuclear programme is for electricity generation. (Reporting by Dan Williams, Writing by Ori Lewis in Jerusalem; Editing by Matthew Jones)