Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak to Leave Politics

Tara Todras-Whitehill-Pool/Getty Images(TEL AVIV, Israel) -- In a surprise announcement, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Monday he'll be leaving politics for good once a new government is formed following the January elections.

Barak is one of the country's most famous politicians, having served in a number of roles, including prime minister from 1999 to 2001.  He is also Israel's most decorated soldier.

Barak is believed to support a military strike on Iran's nuclear program, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who on Monday thanked Barak for his long service.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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