Whether or not Iran is developing nuclear weapons, it appears that Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak appreciates why they would. In an interview with PBS's Charlie Rose, when he was asked if he would want a nuclear weapon were he a member of Iran's government, he replied, "Probably, probably. I know, it's not—I don't delude myself that they are doing it just because of Israel. They look around, they see the Indians are nuclear, the Chinese are nuclear, Pakistan is nuclear ... not to mention the
Many Israelis are unhappy with Mr. Barak's observation. The last thing they want to hear from their defence minister is empathy for Iran developing a nuclear weapon. But there it is. Maybe, disarmed by Charlie Rose's charm, he just allowed his tongue to slip. Nonetheless, what he said simply made sense. If you are quarreling with nuclear-armed nations, as Iran is, then if you don't have the ultimate weapon, you lack leverage. If you want to play with the big boys you have to carry the big stick. Israel, as the defence minister has indicated, certainly understands that.