'Talk of Iran strike may speed-up nuclear program'

Former Mossad head Dagan say serious military option should be on table, but should be used only if Israel felt its back was against the wall.

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December 20, 2011 01:46
1 minute read.
Meir Dagan

Mier Dagan speaking_521. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Former Mossad head Meir Dagan warned Monday that the continued discussion of military action against Iran may lead Tehran to intensify efforts to achieve nuclear potential before a possible attack.

Dagan, speaking at a round-table on Iran at the Netanya Academic College’s S. Daniel Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue, said that a serious military option should be on the table, but should be used only if Israel felt its back was against the wall.

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Dagan has come out a number of times since leaving office earlier this year against military action against Iran, saying it would not succeed in wiping out Iran’s nuclear program and would pull Israel into an unwanted regional war.

Dagan’s outspokenness on Iran attracted a large media presence to Monday’s discussion.

The former Mossad head, however, spoke only briefly. He arrived more than an hour late, complained when he showed up of back pain that would keep him from speaking, and then spoke – after being urged to do so by the head of the panel – for about five minutes, before leaving.

Dagan said that with all the “noise” surrounding Iran’s nuclear program, they were continuing to develop their capabilities.

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“With the threat of a military attack, they may opt to cross all the red lines and instead of going carefully [toward nuclear capability], go very swiftly to obtain nuclear potential,” he said.

Dagan characterized the Iranian nuclear threat as a strategic challenge. He said this was Israel’s central strategic challenge, especially since at the present time the conventional challenges – Egypt and Syria – are not “security threats.”

Another speaker at the forum, former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yaakov Perry, said Israel should try to open up some kind of lines of communications with Iran.

Perry bemoaned that neither Israel nor the US have a channel of communications with Tehran, something he said could increase the chances of a tragic miscalculation.

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