Japanese PM to Barak: Don’t Attack Iran

February 16, 2012  

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda warned Defense Minister Ehud Barak against attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, Channel 10 News reported on Wednesday. Noda made the comments during a meeting with Barak in Tokyo.

The report quoted the Japanese news agency Kyodo, which reported that Noda told Barak that military action in Iran would be very dangerous and worsen the current situation.

He called on Israel to resolve the Iranian issue diplomatically and peacefully and was quoted as having said, “Japan is concerned, as is the rest of the international community, over the Iranian nuclear issue and will continue to deal with it through dialogue and putting pressure on Iran.”

Barak, according to the report, told Noda that it is important that the international community cooperate and take more stringent measures against the Islamic Republic. “The world must join hands in overseeing the sanctions that have been imposed on Iran,” Barak was quoted as having said after the meeting with Noda.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran announced that it activated a new generation of centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear site in order to accelerate its uranium enrichment activities.

The United States, however, downplayed Iran’s announcement and said it was “not terribly new and not terribly impressive.”

“We frankly don’t see a lot new here. This is not big news. In fact it seems to have been hyped,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

On Tuesday it was reported that Iran would be expanding centrifuge operations at the underground Fordo nuclear facility near Qoms.

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