Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, said on Thursday that if Iran is allowed to go nuclear, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia would go nuclear even faster. Barak was quoted at a reception celebrating Israel’s Independence Day, at which senior security establishment officials were present:
A nuclear, Islamist Iran would act aggressively while using terror groups in the region … dealing with Iran’s determination is not devoid of risks and complexities, but dealing with (a nuclear Iran) would be much more dangerous and costly. This is the time for the world to prepare to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. A British diplomat who served in Tehran for many years said (the Iranians) do not say what they think and do not do what they say. The Iranians are determined to deceive the world and obtain nuclear weapons. The Iranian leadership’s fear of an American, Israeli or international military operation is restraining it …The American administration is supporting Israel’s security-related needs, and it is well-aware that Israel – due to its location and the threats it is facing – evaluates the Iranian issue differently. Israel’s clock is ticking faster.
Barak is perhaps most famous in the West for offering the Palestinians (at Bill Clinton’s behest) 98% of Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip when he was prime minister, so he is definitely not a policy hawk. For him to suggest that the other countries in the region will follow Iran quickly toward nuclear weapons is indicative of how serious the problem is. Is there any doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, if possessed of nuclear weapons, would use them to eradicate Israel, either via Palestinian terrorism or via outright attack?