“Ultimately it is very clear, one way or another, Iran’s military nuclear program must be stopped,” Ya’alon said in an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel. “We will act in any way and are not willing to tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. We prefer that this be done by means of sanctions, but in the end, Israel should be able to defend itself.”
Ya’alon added that he was “not responsible for the lives of Iranian scientists,” and that Israel is considering carrying out airstrikes on Iranian military facilities.
At least five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated over the past several years, most of them through car bombs. While Iran has blamed Israel for the assassinations, the Jewish state has never admitted to being involved.
But according to a CBS report last year, the Obama administration apparently pressured Israel into ending its assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. The last known assassination took place in late 2013.