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Iran question likely to be answered in 2013: Barak

Whether Iran will rein in its nuclear programme or push ahead with its suspected bid for a weapons capability is likely to become clear by the end of 2013, Israel's Ehud Barak said on Monday. "Iran remains the central challenge this year, and it is possible we’ll see the direction determined by the end of the year," the outgoing defence minister told members of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs and defence.

REFILE-Israeli minister warms to choice of Hagel for Pentagon

* Former Republican senator's record on Iran worries Jewish state * Obama seen setting tone for relations with Netanyahu government By Dan Williams JERUSALEM, Jan 8 (Reuters) - A senior Israeli diplomat has given a positive view of Chuck Hagel's nomination as U.S. defense secretary, though some commentators in the Jewish state expressed worries that the choice could open a new fissure in bedrock ties with Washington.
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