"It was a cynical and irresponsible move that compromises the security of the State of Israel," the source told Ynet.
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"(Barak) has briefed quite a few senior reporters lately in an attempt to convince them that an attack on Iran is the right decision," the official added. "This is how he brought the issue onto the agenda in an unusual and irresponsible manner."
According to the official, the defense minister's pursuit of the issue has steered the state "into a system-wide delirium of unprecedented proportions and severity, which might draw in the entire Middle East."
'Barak not interested in attack'
The top official suggested that Barak might not be interested in military action against Iran, "but is playing this card in order to manipulate the prime minister and his advisors, thus justifying his role in the government.
"Without the Iranian issue, he has no right to exist in the government," the official claimed.
If Barak was sincere in his support of the attack, the official asserted, he wouldn't be briefing reporters or "generating spin" over the sensitive subject.
"Such issues are considered a top secret that few are privy to," the official explained. "This why it isn't logical and isn't' responsible for an Israeli defense minister to involve reporters or other people in the issue, while also supporting military action."
On Wednesday, the defense establishment tested its ballistic missile propulsion system out of the Palmachim Airbase, and Home front Command conducted a drill that simulated rocket attacks. The drill was expected to continue into Thursday.
Also on Wednesday, Iran's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hassan Fairouz Abadi responded to the alleged Israeli threat, warning that Tehran would retaliate with a "surprising punishment" if Israel decided to pursue such a "mistake."
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