Iran Nuke Would Stir Arms Race, Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak Warns

A nuclear-armed Iran would ignite an arms race in the Middle East that would endanger the entire world, Israel's defense minister warned Sunday.

A nuclear-armed Iran would ignite an arms race in the Middle East that would endanger the entire world, Israel's defense minister warned Sunday.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak predicted that if Iran armed itself, Saudi Arabia and probably Turkey and Egypt would follow, along with the increased potential for terrorists to acquire a bomb.

"I see that there will be an intensive nuclear wave in the Middle East," Barak told CNN. "The countdown toward the vision of a crude nuclear device finding its way into the hands of a terrorist group will start, even if it takes half a generation."

An Iran with nuclear capabilities would further destabilize the region by disrupting oil supplies and empowering terrorist groups. But Barak said he doubts Iran would launch a nuclear strike on Israel.

"They fully understand what might follow. They're radical, but not total meshuganas," he said, using the Yiddish word for "crazies."

"That doesn't mean it's not damaging to the whole world. I can hardly think of any conceivable world order if Iran turns nuclear," he said.

Barak, a former prime minister and Israel's most decorated soldier, said the global community must reject "the verbal gymnastics" Iran uses to justify its nuclear research, including the claim its program is for nuclear power plants.

Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/03/01/2010-03-01_iran_nuke_would_stir_arms_race_israeli_sez.html