Former Israeli Mossad Chief
Opposes Military Attack on Iran
March 12, 2012 (EIRNS)—Former Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan, one of the "old men" of the Israeli Establishment, took the occasion of an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" last week, which aired March 10, to speak out again against a military attack on Iran. For months now, starting in at least June 2011, Dagan has repeatedly said that Iran does not represent an "existential threat" to Israel, and that the idea of an immediate attack was " the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
One of the most important parts of the CBS interview was not aired in the prime time showing, but only exists on the CBS website under the title, "Why the Ex-Mossad Chief Is Speaking Out." Asked if he thinks he is "having an impact," after going public with opposition to a military attack on Iran, Dagan said:
"I don't want to be in a position that someday in the future, my grandson will come to me, and ask me, 'Hey, old man, what did you do [Dagan points in the air, as to the future] in that opportunity,' and I at least, will be able to tell him, 'Look, I follow my conscience, and I spoke, what I, what I am obliged to speak. And I did it.' "
In the suppressed segment, he also said that the decision to attack Iran is "not a military question. It's a political issue, and it's an issue what — for how long are you able to delay the project. What are going to be the consequences? What is the impact that Israel is going to pay as the result of a regional war? Those are the questions to ask yourself if you are making [a] decision to attack targets in Iran."
In the broadcast, Dagan said that there is "at least three years" before Iran would have a bomb, an Israeli attack will start a regional war. "And wars, you know how they start. You never know how you are ending it. " He added that an Israeli strike could lead to an Iranian retaliation with hundreds, possibly thousands of missiles that would have a "devastating impact" on Israel's ability to continue its daily life. "Israel will be in a very serious situation for quite a time," he said.
Interviewer Leslie Stahl was as provocative as possible trying to attain a "gotcha" moment where Dagan would say he wants the U.S. to attack Iran. After three tries, she got him to say something like that, but only after he insisted that there is no cause for attacking Iran now, that he believes that regional war will be provoked, that Israel would be in danger for a long time afterward, and that wars can be started, but not ended. Not the answers that Stahl apparently wanted. The following brief excerpt gives a good summary of Dagan's strong opposition.
Stahl: [why do you oppose an Israeli strike]
Dagan: We are going to ignite, at least from my point of view, a regional war. And wars, you know how they start. You never know how you are ending it.
Stahl: If Israel does strike Iran, the retaliation would probably take place right here. Hezbollah could come from the north; Hamas could fire from the south.
Dagan: It will be a devastating impact on our ability to continue with our daily life. I think that Israel will be in a very serious situation for quite a time.