In an interview with Yediot Aharonot published on Thursday, Barak said that in his eyes ‘Iran does not constitute an existential threat to Israel’s existence’.
He said Israel was ‘strong’ and he did not ‘see anyone capable of representing a threat to our existence’.
The head of the Labor party, however, said he thought Iran posed a challenge to the whole world, adding that it was time to couple diplomacy with tougher sanctions at the same time to get a better result over the long-disputed issue.
The West, spearheaded by the US and Israel, accuses Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program under the guise of enrichment activities.
Under the allegation that Tehran’s nuclear work is a threat to Tel Aviv’s existence, Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to put an end to Iran’s nuclear work by resorting to military action.
Tehran defends its nuclear program as totally peaceful and within the framework of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which it is a signatory. Iran has also called for the removal of all weapons of mass destruction across the globe.
Apart from US unilateral sanctions, Iran is under three rounds of UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions over its nuclear program.
Harsher sanctions may await Iran if talks fail to resolve the country’s nuclear issue.