Israeli Defense Minister: Must Stop Nuclear Arms Race

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Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the world must prepare to "swiftly and firmly" stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Speaking at the Israeli Defense Ministry's annual Independence Day reception late Thursday, he implied that a military strike on Iran may be needed to prevent a regional nuclear arms race.

Barak also predicted a nuclear Iran would likely back anti-Israel militants in "sowing terror in the region and throughout the world."

Barak's comments came shortly after Israel's military chief Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz said he doesn't believe Iran will build a nuclear bomb.

Gantz suggested that economic sanctions against Iran are starting to work, and said he's unconvinced military force is needed at this time.

"I think that the international pressure will help (put a stop to Iran)," he said. "And because I think that the military force is ready to use, not only our force but other forces as well."

Gantz didn't specify which countries would be ready to back Israel if a military strike became necessary.

"We all hope that there will be no necessity to use this force, but we are absolutely sure of its existence," he said.

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