Ashkenazi joins chorus against Iran strike

Gabi Ashkenazi says there is no metaphorical nuclear suitcase about to be sent to Israel, urges combined strategy of sanctions, covert war, diplomacy instead of a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

August 23, 2012 20:29
1 minute read.
Gabi Ashkenazi with Binyamin Netanyahu

Gabi Ashkenazi with Binyamin Netanyahu 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/POOL New)

The most recently retired IDF chief of staff, Lt.-Col (ret.) Gabi Ashkenazi, has added his voice to the chorus of former defense officials saying that there was no need for a military strike on Iran's nuclear program at this time.

In video footage taken by a Makor Rishon journalist and aired on Channel 2 Thursday evening, Ashkenazi told a lecture hall that "we're still not there," adding that a metaphorical nuclear suitcase was not about to be sent in Israel's direction from Iran.

Instead of a strike, Ashkenazi said, a "combination of strategies" should be employed at this junction in time, listing a covert war and economic sanctions coupled with diplomacy as some of the required steps.

"These should be supported by a third strategy; and that is keeping a military option that is realistic and credible," Ashkenazi added.

"That's what I think has to be done." The former chief of staff said he hoped a combination of all the measures would be enough to get Iran to suspend its nuclear program.

Turning his attention to the civil war raging in Syria, Ashkenazi said the toppling of the Assad regime would "at the end of the day improve our strategic situation... even if Assad is replaced by a Sunni regime or government." Ashkenazi said that he did not believe Egypt would turn into a violent Islamist regime hellbent on using force against Israel anytime soon.

"I don't think they can commit a serious act even if they get there [the capabilities], he said.

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