(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Iran should keep in mind Israel's attack on Syria's nuclear reactor when Israel says it will not allow them to have a nuclear weapon, former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Wednesday as Israel finally admitted to the 2007 Syria strike.
Yaalon made the comments at the Meir Dagan conference, honoring the deceased and legendary former Mossad chief at Netanya Academic College.
"It's good for our enemies to understand when Israel says it will not let them get nuclear weapons - they should have this in mind," Ya'alon said.
The former defense minister praised Dagan as making a "great contribution" to the Syria operation.
He also referred to Dagan's huge contributions in the Mossad over the years and in the IDF, saying Dagan was a private and modest man who would not have loved all of the attention.
The reason Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Syria's Bashar Assad and Iran have each tried to develop nuclear weapons was to negate the IDF's conventional war and technological advantages, according to Yaalon.
Curiously, Ya'alon questioned the decision to publicize and admit to the attack as having potential political calculations. But in light of that decision, Israel's enemies should internalize the lesson, he said.
Without mentioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by name, he slammed the country's lack of leadership and the injection of political considerations into security issues, saying it worries him more than Hezbollah, ISIS or other defense threats.
He noted that Dagan himself had attacked Netanyahu for a lack of leadership and politicization of defense issues.
Also, at the conference, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot was recorded praising Dagan's contribution to the Syria operation. He also commented that publicizing the Syria attack on the day of the Dagan conference carried strong symbolism.