Barak Calls for Greater American Support for Israeli Defense after Iran Deal


EHUD BARAKFormer Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak spoke on Thursday at Harvard University about the need for closer U.S.-Israel political and military cooperation in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal. He said it was time for Israel to “request or expect that the American administration find a way to equip Israel with the tools to carry out an independent operation, if the need arise [sic], against the…Iranian nuclear program.”

Barak said the U.S. and Israel should work together to decide what would constitute a significant violation of the nuclear deal by Iran, and what kinds of violations should bring sanctions or even a military option back on the table.

Barak said the Iran deal gives a sense of legitimacy to the Iranian government and, more importantly, has diminished global authority to “block any other third-grade players who wants to turn into a threshold nuclear power.”

Asked about the Islamic State (ISIS), Barak advised not overestimating the group’s military strength. “There are 30 or 40 thousand people basically driving Toyota pickups with one or two of the ’70s machine guns – they don’t have a single artillery battalion, attack helicopters, a drone, or jet fighter,” he said. “They were trained by Saddam Hussein officers – this is the same army that couldn’t take over Iran for eight years.” However, “every passing week that ISIS is still on its feet…gives them a huger [sic] prestige and ignites the imagination of young Muslims.”

{Andy Newscenter}