Israel's defense minister said in comments published Thursday that the Middle East is not ready for nuclear arms ban, claiming that the Islamic world must first "behave like Western Europe." According to the AP, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak added Iran's nuclear program is a threat to world peace.
Barak hinted Israel would not agree to a nuclear weapons ban in the current climate. "Until the Muslim world from Marakesh to Bangladesh behaves like Western Europe, there can be no debate on nuclear disarmament," Barak told the Yediot Ahronot daily.
Barak also called for the international community to step up efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, saying that "now is the time for diplomacy and intensifying sanctions."
Israel considers Iran a strategic threat, but Yediot Ahronot quoted Barak as saying that that while Tehran poses a "challenge" to Israel and the world it cannot destroy Israel. "Iran does not pose an existential threat to the state of Israel," he said. "Israel is strong."