Ya'alon denies suggesting Israel kill Ahmadinejad

Aide to former IDF chief of staff says he said Israel needs to defeat Iranian regime, not president.

ahmadinejad salutes 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
ahmadinejad salutes 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel should consider assassinating Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon reportedly told an Australian newspaper. "We have to consider killing him," Ya'alon told the Sydney Morning Herald. "All options must be considered." Ya'alon's aide denied Sunday that the former chief of staff had made those statements to the Australian paper. "He said that Israel needs to defeat the Iranian regime," the aide said. The paper's reporter was not immediately reachable for comment. Last week, Ya'alon announced his candidacy for the Likud list in the upcoming Knesset elections. He is being touted as a possible candidate for defense minister if Likud wins the elections. "We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately," the paper quoted Ya'alon as saying. "There is no way to stabilize the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped." A senior diplomatic official said it was "clear he didn't say this [about killing Ahmadinejad], because no one who aspires to a position of authority could say such a thing. People in positions of power do not threaten to kill others." In another interview with an Australian paper on Sunday, Ya'alon told The Australian that even if Israel attacked Iran, the move would need to be followed up by tough action to prevent the regime from rehabilitating itself.