Ex-Israeli PM to US: Give Iran 'or else' ultimatum

What Iran nuke deal means for Israel: Ehud Barak
What Iran nuke deal means for Israel: Ehud Barak

The U.S. needs to give Iranian leaders a clear choice: Get rid of your military nuclear program "or else," former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak urged on Wednesday.

"The Pentagon and the forces of America under the backing and probably directive of the [U.S.] president [could] create an extremely effective means to destroy the Iranian nuclear military program over a fraction of one night," the former Israeli leader told CNBC's "Squawk Box" in an interview. He described the type of targeted operation that could be undertaken as closer to the killing of Osama bin Laden than the war on Iraq.

Barak said he would rather see a peacefully negotiated end to Iran's nuclear threat.

But since the announcement last week of a framework of a deal between Iran and the U.S. and its negotiating partners—Russia, China, France, the U.K. and Germany—there have been conflicting accounts of the extent of the agreement and what it means for the chances of reaching a final accord by the end of June.

"There is no agreement, basically," said Barak, arguing that President Barack Obama and his administration backed themselves into a corner by committing "all around the world and back home to pass this agreement."

While critical of Obama's handling of the Iran negotiations, the former Israeli prime minister said he feels confident that the U.S. has his country's back. "The support of the administration to Israel in security, the cooperation and intelligence is unprecedented. I don't question for a moment the commitment of President Obama and everyone in that administration for the security of Israel."

Barak said any problems between the current prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Obama should be addressed behind closed doors. The strained relations between the two nations became very public in February, when Netanyahu criticized the Iran talks in an address to Congress.

—Wire services contributed to this report.