Ex-Mossad chief stripped of Israeli diplomatic passport
June 22, 2011 1 Comment
By IAN ALLEN| intelNews.org |
The former chief of Israel’s primary external intelligence agency has been told to return his diplomatic passport immediately, a move that has been described as “unusual” by Israeli media. According to news reports, Meir Dagan, who led the Mossad from 2002 until January of this year, had requested that he be allowed to use his diplomatic passport for a series of upcoming international trips. But the Israeli government turned down his request and ordered him instead to surrender his diplomatic passport, effective immediately. The move comes several weeks after Dagan launched a barrage of serious criticisms against Israel’s political leadership. Earlier this month, he told journalists that the country’s current government is led by “reckless and irresponsible” people, who will not hesitate to engage in military adventurism in Iran in order to ensure their political survival at home. In May, he warned that any military action against Iran would be “patently illegal under international law” and that it would probably not achieve its goals, since Iranian nuclear installations are deliberately dispersed in locations across that vast country. Israel’s Channel 2 reported that it is usual practice to allow government officials to use their diplomatic passports until they expire, ever after they retire from their government positions. Therefore, the requirement that Dagan returns his diplomatic passport deviates from usual practice and appears to be connected with the former Mossad chief’s criticisms of the Israeli government, said the TV station. But the office of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement in which it argued that diplomatic passports are “given to officials in order to aid them in their jobs. According to the rulers, when those people are no longer assuming those positions, they are asked to return the diplomatic passport”.