Former head Israeli spy: 'Don't attack Iran'

The former chief of Israel’s Mossad spy agency has cautioned against an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites and put his trust firmly in US President Barack Obama to intervene if and when necessary.

In excerpts of an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” programme to be aired in full tomorrow, Meir Dagan said he believes the Iranian regime is a “very rational one,” including firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“An attack on Iran before you are exploring all other approaches is not the right way,” Dagan said.

“And (President Obama) said openly that the military option is on the table and he is not going to let Iran become a nuclear state, and from my experience, I usually trust the president of the US.”

The Obama administration maintains that tough sanctions on Iran and diplomatic efforts need to be given more time before any resort to bombing raids. Israeli leaders however say time is running out for any pre-emptive strike. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that sanctions against Iran have not worked, and “none of us can afford to wait much longer.” Dagan, who retired in January 2011 after eight years as director of the Israeli intelligence service, has repeatedly warned that an attack could fail to curb Iran’s atomic ambitions while risking engulfing the region in conflict.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, he said he did not believe the Iranians were rushing forward to produce a bomb as they understood the consequences. “But no doubt, they are considering all the implications of their actions,” Dagan said. “They will have to pay dearly… and I think the Iranians at this point in time are… very careful on the project.”

Dagan, who refused to be drawn on whether Israel has supported youth opposition groups in Iran, said that trying to foment regime change was a smarter tactic.

“It’s our duty to help anyone who likes to present an open opposition against their regime in Iran,” he said. Asked if he would rather that Israel waited and allowed the United States to act first, Dagan replied: “If I prefer that someone will do it, I always prefer that Americans will do it.”

Analysts and former US military officers say Israeli aircraft could do serious damage to Iran’s nuclear sites but would face a challenge hitting an underground facility near Qom and that America’s vast air force far outstrips Israel’s capabilities. The United States, Israel and much of the international community fear Iran’s nuclear program is an attempt to build a weapon – a charge Tehran denies.

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  • 5thDrawer

    One supposes that ‘rational’ could be a word used …. when set into any given religiously-driven despotic background.
    But no-one listens to old retired guys anyway.

    JOIN AND CONTRIBUTE to KAFA and ABAAD.

  • 5thDrawer

    One supposes that ‘rational’ could be a word used …. when set into any given religiously-driven despotic background.
    But no-one listens to old retired guys anyway.

  • josephphdman

    a strike on iran nuclear plants by israel  now may result in  a  world panics , but its temporaray  in two weeks when israel finish wiping out  iran,s nuclear sites , evrything go back to normal , in fact the oil prices will fall to the lowest prices had ever been in years  ,  the barrel of crude oil will be trading much lower than  it was this year , because nuclear iran danger is removed and the international community will be safer , and that eventually help president obama get reelcted . . mr dagan wants all other approaches , nothing will work 30 years of sanctions has,nt stopped iran from enriching uranium , and if enrichiment was peacefull purpose why they are hiding it in underground  facilities?   there is no other solution , damned if you do and damned if you do.nt , in this case you  will  be much more damned if you do,nt

  • josephphdman

    a strike on iran nuclear plants by israel  now may result in  a  world panics , but its temporaray  in two weeks when israel finish wiping out  iran,s nuclear sites , evrything go back to normal , in fact the oil prices will fall to the lowest prices had ever been in years  ,  the barrel of crude oil will be trading much lower than  it was this year , because nuclear iran danger is removed and the international community will be safer , and that eventually help president obama get reelcted . . mr dagan wants all other approaches , nothing will work 30 years of sanctions has,nt stopped iran from enriching uranium , and if enrichiment was peacefull purpose why they are hiding it in underground  facilities?   there is no other solution , damned if you do and damned if you do.nt , in this case you  will  be much more damned if you do,nt

  • 5thDrawer

    Found a good one … hehehehehe

    The Iranian Ambassador to the UN had just finished giving a speech, and he walked out into the lobby of the convention centre where he met U.S. General Patraeus. 

    They shook hands. As they walked the Iranian said, “You know, I have just one question about what I have seen in America .” 

    The General said, “Well, anything I can do to help you, I will.” 

    The Iranian whispered; “My son watches this show called Star Trek, and in it there is Chekhov who is Russian, Scotty who is Scottish, Uhura who is black and Sulu who is Japanese, but there are no Muslims.  My son is very upset and doesn’t understand why there aren’t any Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians or Pakistanis on Star Trek.” 

    The General laughed, leaned toward the Iranian ambassador, and whispered back;
     “That’s because it takes place in the future”.

    • Hannibal

      lol

  • 5thDrawer

    Found a good one … hehehehehe

    The Iranian Ambassador to the UN had just finished giving a speech, and he walked out into the lobby of the convention centre where he met U.S. General Patraeus. 

    They shook hands. As they walked the Iranian said, “You know, I have just one question about what I have seen in America .” 

    The General said, “Well, anything I can do to help you, I will.” 

    The Iranian whispered; “My son watches this show called Star Trek, and in it there is Chekhov who is Russian, Scotty who is Scottish, Uhura who is black and Sulu who is Japanese, but there are no Muslims.  My son is very upset and doesn’t understand why there aren’t any Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians or Pakistanis on Star Trek.” 

    The General laughed, leaned toward the Iranian ambassador, and whispered back;
     “That’s because it takes place in the future”.