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Israeli defense minister talks tough on Iran nuclear issue

(Xinhua)

15:23, November 17, 2011

OTTAWA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- "All options" remained on the table to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, visiting Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said here Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference after meeting with his Canadian counterpart, Peter MacKay, Barak, who is also Israel's deputy prime minister, described the Iranian regime as a major threat to the entire world, not just to the Middle East.

The international community must increase pressure on Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, said Barak, who is currently negotiating a number of defense cooperation agreements with Canada.

"I believe the world will join hands and live up to its commitment to block Iran from turning nuclear," he said. "And we've said all along to friends all around the world not to remove any option off the table and I'm glad to notice many leaders ... repeating this very phrase."

"We think Iran is a major threat to any conceivable regional order. It's a real challenge to the whole world," he said.

However, Barak refused to be drawn into further speculation on what action Israel may take against Iran.

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