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Meir Dagan Photo: Yaron Brener
Meir Dagan Photo: Yaron Brener
 
 

WikiLeaks: Arab world according to Mossad chief

WikiLeaks documents contain reports of 2007 meetings in which Meir Dagan presented US with five-step program to perform coup in Iran; said 'nothing can be achieved' with Palestinians, denied plans to attack Syrian nuclear site

Roi Mandel
Latest Update: 11.29.10, 09:34 / Israel News

Mossad chief Meir Dagan presented the United States with a five-step program to perform a coup in Iran in August 2007, one of the documents revealed by the WikiLeaks website indicates. The papers also suggest that two months prior to Israel's attack on a Syrian nuclear facility in 2007, the Mossad chief told the US homeland security advisor that Israel has no plans to attack.

 

Special coverage on WikiLeaks documents:

In a meeting with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns Dagan said that Israel and the US have different timetables regarding Iran's ability to achieve nuclear abilities. He noted that the Mossad is taking into consideration the Iranian regime's determination to succeed.

 

The Mossad chief claimed in the meeting there was time to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis but stressed that the Islamic Republic is putting great effort into obtaining nuclear abilities.

 

He presented a five-step program against Iran:

 

1. Political approach: Dagan praised efforts to bring Iran before the Security Council and the decision to hold another round of sanctions, but stressed that this approach alone was not sufficient. He stressed that the timetable for political action against Iran was different that the nuclear project's timetable.

 

2. Secret steps: Dagan and Burns agreed not to discuss this approach in the wider forum of the discussion.

 

3. Nuclear proliferation: Dagan stressed the need to prevent the transfer of knowledge and technology to Iran and said more can be done on the matter.

 

4. Sanctions: Dagan stated that three Iranian banks were on the verge of collapse and that the economic sanctions had national effect. He claimed the Iranian regime has difficulty handling the banks.

 

5. Regime change: Dagan said more should be done to change the regime, and raised the possibility of recruiting democratic student and ethnic movements as well as dissidents to this end.

 

During the meeting Dagan criticized what he referred to as Russia's negative involvement in the region.

 

'Satisfied with sanctions'

In a secret document from July 13, 2007 the US Embassy in Israel reported of a meeting between Dagan and then-Homeland Security Advisor Frances Fragos Townsend. In the meeting the two expressed satisfaction over the economic sanctions on Iran. Dagan noted that the UN sanctions caught the Iranians off guard and had a significant effect in putting more pressure on the regime.

 

Dagan noted that the Iranian regime was falsely claiming it managed to solve the uranium enrichment procedure. He noted Russia's growing aversion of Iran and its nuclear program and said the Iranian were shocked to discover Russia blamed them of endorsing terror against the US.

 

Referring to disagreements in the Iranian government, he said there was no ideological disagreement on the annihilation of Israel, which everyone endorsed, but said there was growing variance on the tactic that should be employed. He noted that while some supported revenge actions against the West others championed a more moderate approach.

 

The Mossad chief also noted that Israel was not alone in its concerns over Iran and pointed to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states which he said "expected someone else to do the job for them."

 

Dagan also criticized the conduct of some of the Gulf leaders which created difficulties in handling Iran. He described Qatar as a "real problem" and said it was trying to please everyone – Syria, Iran and Hamas while also trying to achieve a measure of independence. He advised the US to remove bases from the country.

 

WikiLeaks documents also suggest that Dagan denied plans to attack a Syrian nuclear facility. In his 2007 meeting with Townsend, which took place two months before the Israeli attack on Dir al-Zur, Dagan said that Israel has no plans to attack Damascus. He stated that Syria is expecting a summer attack and has raised its alertness level. The Mossad chief noted that while such an operation was not being planned, Syria was likely to respond to any little incident which could result in a regional escalation.

 

'Peace talks will fail'

Dagan also expressed pessimism regarding peace talks with the Palestinians. He said that nothing can be achieved, despite a decade of trying to reach a full-status agreement. The Mossad chief claimed that only Israel's military actions against Hamas in the West Bank prevented it from expanding its control outside Gaza and that without it Fatah would have fallen within a month.

 

As for Syria, Dagan said that Damascus's strategic alliance with Tehran and Hezbollah had not changed and that Assad believes it is proving successful. He noted that only by enforcing UN resolutions on Lebanon and increasing efforts to disarm Hezbollah, could the international community separate Iran and Syria.

 

Enforcing such resolutions would add pressure on Assad who fears being tried for former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri's murder, Dagan stated.

 

The Mossad chief also expressed concern over the disintegration of Turkey's secular nature and warned that in time the country could radicalize further. He claimed that had the Turkish army received additional direct aid from the US it would have been better able to prevent the rise of the Islamists.

 

Mossad activity in Iraq

A secret cable from March 17, 2005 reveals a side of the Mossad's activity in Iraq. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer reported that Dagan told him that Israel has proof that foreign fighters returned home from Iraq, which possibly indicates that the US's war against the guerilla fighters was succeeding. Nevertheless, he expressed concern that the fighters' homelands such as Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Syria will not be able to control the them. They were capable of threatening stability in the region, he said.

 

Dagan also noted that Israel has friendly relations with the Kurds in Iraq.

 

 

First Published: 11.29.10, 09:18

 

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