Haaretz and Reuters
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Defense Minister downplays speculation Jerusalem is preparing for attack, says ‘war is not a picnic. We want a picnic. We don’t want a war’; France and Russia voice concern over possibility of striking Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday played down speculation that Israel intended to strike Iranian nuclear facilities, saying it had not decided to embark on any military operation.
“War is not a picnic. We want a picnic. We don’t want a war,” Barak told Israel Radio ahead of the release this week of an International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] report on Iran’s nuclear activity.
“[Israel] had not yet decided to embark on any operation,” he said, dismissing Israeli media speculation that he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had chosen that option.
But he said Israel had to prepare for “uncomfortable situations” and ultimately bore responsibility for its own security. All options to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions should
remain open, he said.