Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told senior Israeli military leaders that Iran's development of nuclear weapons was likely to "threaten the existence of the State of Israel."

Barak said a nuclear capabilit in Iran would enormously strengthen the immunity of groups aided by Tehran and lead other hostile states in the region to develop the same capabilities. He said that, once the Obama administration began to negotiate with Iran, any efforts to use military means against its nuclear program would become more difficult. "We'll see Iranian gestures and steps aimed at pushing off the issue," he said. The defense minister said it was of utmost importance that U.S.-Iran dialogue be relatively short, and followed by deep sanctions.