Yatom: Only attack will stop Iran

Former Mossad head calls for Western air forces to strike at Teheran’s nuclear facilities.

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September 13, 2010 01:05
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Western countries need to form a coalition of air forces now and attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, former Mossad director Danny Yatom said on Sunday.

Only military force can stop Iran, the former Labor MK said, speaking at an International Institute for Counter-Terrorism conference at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya.

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“Since the sanctions are not enough, I am hopeful that the world will come to its senses and reach the conclusion that to stop the Iranian nuclear arms race, we will have to attack some of their nuclear facilities,” Yatom said, in rare comments by a former top Israeli security official regarding the use of force against the Islamic Republic.

While some of Iran’s nuclear facilities are scattered throughout the country and are in fortified bunkers deep underground, if the world “mobilizes its capabilities” it would be possible to cause enough damage to delay the program.

“If the modern air forces led by the United States mobilize their capabilities it is possible, if not to completely remove the threat, at least to delay it for years to come,” Yatom said.

While refraining from discussing specific Israeli capabilities, he said that if the world failed to meet the challenge, Israel would “retain the right to self-defense.”

“Figure out for yourselves what that means,” he told the audience.

Yatom said that Israel could not live with a nuclear Iran.

“I don’t want to be in a situation that I will be sitting in Israel and my fate will be in the hands of others, especially when we are talking about a lunatic regime,” he said. “I don’t want to be the subject of an Iranian experiment.”

Yatom’s predecessor as Mossad chief, Shabtai Shavit, weighed in on the recent socalled “Galant Document” scandal that rocked the IDF and said that Col. Erez Weiner, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi’s top aide, could not be promoted due to his involvement in the affair.

Weiner gave a copy of the document to a former IDF officer, who then leaked it to Channel 2.

“We need to immediately clear the IDF of extraneous considerations,” Shavit said.

He also warned against appointing one of the majorgenerals who lost the bid to replace Ashkenazi as the next head of the Mossad.

“For the defense minister, this is another ploy to build coalitions and garner support for his policies by appointing people who will be in his debt,” Shavit said.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met on Sunday with a group of senior IDF officers who are candidates for new positions, as incoming chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant leaves the reins at the Southern Command in the coming weeks.


Barak held meetings with the head of the IDF Operations Directorate Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo and OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

Russo is rumored to be a candidate to replace Galant as OC Southern Command, and Eizenkot has asked to remain as OC Northern Command or be appointed deputy chief of General Staff under Galant.


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