(Reuters) - Iran is less than a year away from being unstoppable in its goal of producing a nuclear weapon, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview with CNN released on Saturday.
In an advance transcript of an interview to air on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" program on Sunday, Barak said Israel was focussed on the prospect of a nuclear Iran and what "should and could be done about it on time."
"It's true that it won't take three years, probably three quarters before no one can do anything practically about it because the Iranians are gradually, deliberately entering into what I call a zone of immunity, by widening the redundancy of their plan, making it spread over many more sites with many more hidden elements."
Fareed Zakaria: I have to ask you the question on everyone’s mind: is Israel going to attack Iran?
Ehud Barak: I don’t think that that is a subject for public discussion. But I can tell you that the IAEA report has a sobering impact on many in the world, leaders as well as the publics, and people understand that the time has come. Amano told straightly what he found, unlike Baradei, and it became a major issue that I think duly so, becomes a major issue for sanctions, for intensive diplomacy, with urgency. People understand now that Iran is determined to reach nuclear weapons. No other possible or conceivable explanation for what they have been actually doing. And that should be stopped.
“The countdown toward nuclear materials in the hands of terrorists will start, even if it takes half a generation. But more than this, they will use the nuclear umbrella to kind of intimidate neighbors all around the Gulf to sponsor terror.”