Attacking Iran ‘a stupid idea’ says Mossad ex-chief

Meir Dagan

Meir Dagan

The former director of Israel’s Mossad spy agency has described the option of a military attack by Israel on Iran’s nuclear installations as “the stupidest thing I have ever heard”. Meir Dagan, who led the Mossad from 2002 until January of this year, was speaking publicly for the first time since his retirement, at a conference held at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. He told conference participants 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. Consequently, the widespread nature of the attack could lead to a prolonged war, “the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end”, said Dagan. His comments found their way to the front pages of most Israeli newspapers over the weekend, and were headlined in television and radio station news programs, prompting responses by several former and acting Israeli officials. Two former directors of the Mossad, Efraim Halevy and Danni Yatom, appeared to support their colleague’s right to publicly speak his mind on critical issues of national security. But Israel’s Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, spoke critically of Dagan’s choice of words, arguing that he was “unwise to disclose his opinions” with the public-at-large. It has long been speculated that Meir Dagan is strongly opposed to the idea of using military action to delay or terminate Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons program, but this was the first public confirmation of his views. Instead, during his time as director of the Mossad, Dagan favored clandestine sabotage as a primary means of subverting Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to Attacking Iran ‘a stupid idea’ says Mossad ex-chief

  1. Steve says:

    Dagan is a classic Cloak and Dagger intelligence officer. His view is based on the cold war outlook, that opposing governments will forever remain hopelessly at war with each other and that out and out war is unacceptable. The only means of opposing the enemy therefore is through subterfuge and clandestine operations that leave no basis for retaliatory strike via conventional means. It also expresses and reinforces the long held view of the cold war veteran of Mutually Assured Destruction as the guarantor of safety for the masses. Sadly MAD only works where both parties are mutually averse to destruction. Dagan does not appreciate that the current Iranian government does not have mutual values. He also puts too much faith in the Arab Spring, that it would neuter the Iranian nuclear threat, unfortunately the Arab Spring is turning into a long Russian winter… but this is no cold war!

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