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‘Iran may accelerate nuke program if Israel attacks'

May 2, 2012 05:20

Former IDF Intel head Gazit tells 'Post' he agrees with Diskin, attack wouldn't destroy Iran's program, could accelerate it.

A general view of the Bushehr main nuclear reactor

A general view of the Bushehr main nuclear reactor 311 R. (photo credit:Reuters/ Raheb Homavandi)

Iran would possibly accelerate its nuclear weapons program after a future Israeli military strike, former IDF Intelligence head Shlomo Gazit told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Gazit, a senior research fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, made the comments in response to a question put to him by the Post over recent views aired by former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) director Yuval Diskin, who questioned the effectiveness of an Israeli strike.

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The public discourse over a strike largely neglected the likelihood that Iran would resume its program after being attacked, Gazit noted.

He said he agreed with Diskin that an Israeli attack would not destroy the program, and could even accelerate it, while enabling Iran to legitimize its efforts diplomatically.

A US or international strike, by contrast, could certainly lead to the destruction of the Iranian program, Gazit added.

Former IDF Intelligence head Shlomo Gazit (Courtesy of Shlomo Gazit)

Referring to Diskin’s blistering attacks on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak as “messianic” leaders who cannot be trusted, Gazit said, “Even if they have messianic considerations, this is not important. They were legally elected through a ballot, and Diskin should direct his claims [against them] to the electorate.”

The security expert dismissed claims that Diskin should have quit his post if he did not trust his superiors.

“Such an expectation of the personal staff of a political leader would be understandable. The test of a Shin Bet head is his ability to manage the organization which he leads and carry out his duties. As long as the political leadership does not prevent him from doing this, there is no reason for him to quit,” he said.

On Sunday, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan backed Diskin at The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, and clashed with Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, who accused Diskin of acting out of personal frustrations.

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