BOMBSHELL REVELATION: IDF plan to attack Iranian nuke facilities was sabotaged at the last minute
Ehud Barak, the former defense minister, said that a plan to launch an attack against Iran was sabotaged by the hesitancy of fellow cabinet ministers Yuval Steinitz and the man who would replace him at the Kirya Defense Ministry compound, Moshe Ya’alon.
The bombshell revelations were made in a tape recording obtained by Channel 2. The clip was aired on its flagship Friday news magazine.
Barak said that the attack plans against Iran were drawn up and approved by him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sometime between 2009 and 2010.
According to Barak, when the plan went before the so-called “forum of eight” ministers, it was Ya’alon and Steinitz – two of the most vocal anti-Iran hawks in the current administration – who “melted.”
Once it became apparent that Ya’alon and Steinitz were not completely on board with the attack plan, Netanyahu and Barak lost their majority in the “forum of eight,” forcing them to shelve the initiative, the former defense minister is heard saying.
According to Channel 2, Barak tried to prevent the television network from airing the audio, claiming that they violate military censorship rules. However the military censor approved of the contents of the tape, Channel 2 said.
Ya’alon and Steinitz both refused to comment on Barak’s claims. Both men released a statement to Channel 2 expressing bewilderment as to how the contents of sensitive cabinet discussions are permitted by the military censor to be aired in such a public forum.
The Barak tapes were made available to Channel 2 following the completion of a new Hebrew-language biography about the former defense minister titled Milhamot hayay (“my life’s wars”), written by authors Ilan Kfir and Danny Dor.
According to Barak, another critical factor that short-circuited an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities was opposition from then-army chief Gabi Ashkenazi.
The IDF chief of staff refused Barak and Netanyahu’s pleas to officially declare that the military was “beyond the threshold of operational capacity.”
“You can’t go to the cabinet [and expect it to endorse an attack on Iran]” when the army chief refused to definitively state that the IDF was fully capable of executing an assault, Barak is heard saying.
Another obstacle standing in the way of Netanyahu and Barak was “the forum of eight.” According to Barak, he was assured by Netanyahu that Ya’alon and Steinitz were on board with the plan. Their support was critical since other more dovish members of the forum – Benny Begin, Dan Meridor, and Eli Yishai – were opposed to the plan, as were senior officials in the Israeli defense and intelligence communities.