meir dagan 248.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Mossad chief Meir Dagan said Tuesday that the Islamic Republic will have a nuclear bomb ready for use by 2014.
Speaking to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee several days after the disputed Iranian elections, Dagan said that "what matters is the position of the [supreme] leader and this has not changed. The riots take place only in Teheran and one more region, they won't last for long." Dagan said the riots won't become a full-fledged revolution.
The violence in the wake of the elections in Iran and allegations of vote rigging are not different from "any other democracyâ€¦ the discussion within the Iranian eliteâ€¦ is an internal affair."
Dagan said Israel would in fact have an easier time explaining the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons to the world when the country is led by a hardline fanatic president [reelected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] than if Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is seen as a moderate, would win the election. "We mustn't forget Mousavi is the one who started the nuclear program."
Regarding the nuclear threat, Dagan said Iran was closely following US response to recent threats made by North Korean despot Kim Jong Il. "If they see that the American policy can't bend or break North Korea, this will certainly affect the Iranians in future talks with the US. The Americans decided to try soft power on the Iraniansâ€¦ Iran thinks the world will come towards it."
Iran, according to Dagan, "wants to be like Egypt was in the 1960s and 1970s. There is a lot of cooperation between Iran, North Korea and Syria. The notion of an Iranian nuclear weapon is an existential threat to Israel and has to be removed."