Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, a leading strategist in confronting Iran over its nuclear program, said in a surprise announcement on Monday that he would leave political life after the January 22 national election.
Dennis Ross, a veteran U.S. envoy and former Obama adviser, called Barak "perhaps the leading advocate for military action against Iran".
"He has had very close relationships with his U.S. counterparts, and while that has had an influence on his readiness to act militarily against Iran, he has been prepared for a unilateral Israeli strike if he thought that would be necessary," Ross told Reuters.
"Whoever would replace him in the next government will be hard-pressed to have the same stature or influence both with the prime minister (Netanyahu) and with us," he said.>>>
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