Former Mossad chief said on Monday that senior political officials in Jerusalem want the sabotage at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility to be attributed to Israel.
The mysterious blackout struck Iran's underground facility on Sunday, in what Iranians said was "an act of nuclear terrorism”, perpetrated by "the Zionists" and vowed to take revenge. The incident happened amid negotiations with world powers over reviving the 2015 nuclear accord.
Ephraim Halevi told Ynet that Israel appears to have changed its policy of "ambiguity", characterized by refusal to comment on operations against enemy targets and states, which are often attributed to Israel.
"Apparently, those in Israel in the political leadership want [the attack] to be attributed to Israel. Therefore, it must be assumed that the attack was indeed carried out by those who are now suspected [of perpetrating it]" said Halevi.
"There has been a change in Israel's policy in recent years, led by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who himself also spoke about it in a way that leaves no doubt. Therefore, I agree that there is a new policy on these issues and it is reflected in activities that until not long ago were not something for which Israel would have taken responsibility."
He said the lifting of ambiguity could "limit Israel's ability to pursue an active, offensive policy" and could also harm the country's ability to hold clandestine talks."
Halevi added that Iran might retaliate for the alleged attack, like it promised, and Israel should not underestimate Tehran's abilities.
"The Iranians have many tools they haven't used against us yet. They used it against Saudi Arabia nearly two years ago, when they attacked a Saudi oil plant and destroyed 50% of its oil refining capacity, surprising the world with their sophistication.
"We will make a big mistake if [we will think of Iran] as an opponent who has two left hands, that is not true."
The former intelligence chief said he doesn't believe the attack on Natanz will deter the United States from rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal. "This is not just President Joe Biden's policy, this is a U.S. national policy today, so they will talk to the Iranians one way or another."