Mossad, IDF ‘resisted order’ to prepare for Iran war in 2010
November 5, 2012 1 Comment
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The heads of Israel’s army and main spy agency resisted an order issued by the Israeli Prime Minister to prepare for an all-out military attack on Iranian nuclear installations in 2010, according to a report aired today. According to Monday’s edition of Uvda (Fact), a popular investigative program on Israel’s Channel 2 television, the command to prepare for an attack was given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. The two men delivered the order to a meeting of senior cabinet ministers, telling them that the Israeli military’s preparedness level would be elevated to ‘P plus’, effective immediately. According to Uvda, ‘P plus’ meant that the Israeli armed forces should prepare to take military action at a moment’s notice. However, the then-Director of Israeli spy agency Mossad, Meir Dagan, who was present at the meeting, asked to speak and, according to Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, which said it has seen the Uvda program, “came out sharply” against both Netanyahu and Barak. He told those present that elevating the military preparedness to ‘P plus’ was something that technically could only be decided at a meeting of Israel’s Political-Security Cabinet. Also known as “the inner cabinet”, the group, which consists of over a dozen Ministers and is led by the Prime Minister, is tasked with outlining and implementing Israel’s foreign and defense policy. Dagan told the two men that “only the [inner] cabinet is authorized to decide this” and warned them that they were “likely to make an illegal decision to go to war”. Dagan’s objection was later reinforced when General Gabi Ashkenazi, then-leader of the Israel Defense Forces, told the Prime Minister that the Israeli army was not ready to elevate its preparedness level to a ‘P plus’. General Ashkenazi said that the IDF did not have the necessary operational means to carry out an all-out attack on Iran at that time. According to Uvda, the objections by Dagan and Ashkenazi were sufficient to alter the balance of power at the meeting, thus forcing Prime Minister Netanyahu to back down. Shortly afterwards, Defense Minister Barak announced the decision to rescind the order to elevate the armed forces’ readiness status. He later told the cabinet that the order to elevate the readiness status was precautionary and “did not necessarily mean war”. Since then, both Dayan and Ashkenazi have made public statements sharply critical of Israeli politicians who urge an all-out war against Iran.