Israel defense minister says sanctions won't stop Iran nuclear ambitions


Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivers a speech during the annual international conference on security and policy in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv.


Jack Guez

Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak said Sunday that he doesn't think that sanctions on Iran will stop it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“I don’t believe that this amount of sanctions and pressure will bring the Iranian leadership to the conclusion that they have to stop their nuclear military program,” Barak said on CNN's 'Fareed Zakaria GPS.'

Barak said that sanctions on Iran should be kept up in order to put pressure on the regime.

“The tightest possible sanctions and steps against Iran should be ratcheted in a way that will effectively corner them,” Barak said on CNN, according to Bloomberg. "We are not against any kind of effective and urgent sanctions, not even against negotiations." 

His words come on the heels of an upcoming meeting between the so called P5+1 group, made up of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany scheduled to meet in Istanbul on April 13.

Israel has stated that it wanted the negotiations to not only end Iran's nuclear enrichment to 20 percent but to move all 20 percent enriched uranium to a neighboring country.

Yet, the Jersalem Post said the P5+1 will likely try to negotiate the end of Iran's enrichment up to 20 percent only - a limit that Israel believes does not go far enough.

"But if the P5+1 will settle for a much lower threshold, like just stopping enriching 20%, it means that basically the Iranians, at a very cheap cost, bought their way into continuing their military program, slightly slower, but without sanctions. That would be a total change of direction for the world," the defense minister stated, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Israel has tried to get the United States to commit to 'red lines' which would prompt military action against what many believe is a nascent Iranian nuclear program.