In this exclusive interview, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke with NBC's Richard Engel about Iran and its apparent effort to become a military power with a nuclear weapon.
A military strike against Iran to prevent the country from becoming a nuclear power is still very much a possibility, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told NBC News' chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, on Wednesday.
"A nuclear Iran is unacceptable," he said a week after world powers met with Iranian representatives in Baghdad.
"No option should be removed from the table," Barak told Engel.
Barak did not specify what would trigger military action.
“We all hope it will be solved through sanctions or diplomacy, we will be happy to wake up one morning and see it is all over. … It probably won’t happen,” Barak said, calling international talks with Iran "a ritual of self-delusion."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday he did not expect talks next month with six world powers in Moscow to yield any major breakthroughs.
The six powers -- the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany -- failed to persuade Tehran on May 23 in Baghdad to halt its most sensitive nuclear work, but they will meet again in Moscow on June 18-19 to try to end the standoff.
The Baghdad meeting focused on foreign efforts to roll back Iran's enrichment of uranium to 20 percent fissile purity, a level approaching bomb grade.
Ahmadinejad reiterated Iran's "legal right" to enrich uranium to 20 percent and said other countries would have to explain why Iran was not allowed to do this and what they would offer Iran in exchange if it stopped enriching uranium.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for an end to Iran enriching uranium, said the original red line had been set at 3.5 percent enrichment -- sufficient to run civilian nuclear power stations -- but had been relaxed.
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