WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- As far as Israel is concerned, all options concerning Iran's nuclear program are on the table, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.
Barak, who met with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen in Washington on Monday, said Iran continues to deceive the international community, the Hebrew daily Maariv said Tuesday.
The Israeli defense minister called for harsher measures against Tehran.
"Iran is continuing to move forward with its military nuclear program despite the sanctions," Barak said. "As far as Israel is concerned, all options must remain on the table."
"We don't need to be concerned by Ahmadinejad's latest statements, but we should view seriously Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear capability and the fact that it continues to deceive the world regarding its intentions," Maariv quoted the defense minister as saying. "We are talking about a threat that does not just affect (just) Israel, but the entire world," he said.
Regarding efforts to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Barak said Israel must not miss out on the opportunity for peace, the newspaper said.
Barak said, however, extending the construction freeze in the West Bank due to expire on Sept. 26 is problematic.
Israel's decision to impose a 10-month building freeze was unprecedented and during the first nine months, the Palestinians viewed it with contempt, Barak said. Only in the past month have the Palestinians started making statements the issue would be the reason for making or breaking the talks, the paper quoted Barak saying.
A solution must be found without humiliating Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and without pushing Israel into a corner, he said.