Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should "be made to disappear from the arena," Meir Amit, a former director of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, advocated in an exclusive interview with WND.
Amit, one of the most esteemed figures in the Israeli intelligence establishment, said while he was director of the Mossad from 1963 to 1968 he regularly argued against the assassination of world leaders. But he said the case of Ahmadinejad is different.
"Ahmadinejad is the pusher of all the Muslim world toward fanaticism and extremism. In his case, he should be made to disappear from the arena. He has said he wants to become a shahid, a martyr, so I think he should get his wish and be sent to heaven," Amit said.
Amit, now in his mid-80's, directed some of the most notorious Mossad operations while he was the organization's chief, including the running of Israeli spy Eli Cohen who penetrated top levels of the Syrian government, and the hijacking of an advance fighter plane from Iraq. The subject of multiple books and movies, Amit serves as chairman of Israel's Center for Special Studies.
He told WND he does not advocate an Israeli military attack against Iran's suspected nuclear facilities. Instead he said Israel should adopt a defensive position, deploying a working anti-missile system to intercept possible Iranian missile attacks.
Israel this weekend successfully tested the Arrow missile defense system in its first nighttime exercise against a missile mocking an Iranian Shihab-3.
Amit termed Iran an "international threat." He said Israel and the US should work with the international community to undermine Ahmadinejad's regime and foster a popular uprising.
Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be wiped off the map
"We know most of the younger generation in Iran is against Ahmadenejad. They should be aided. The US and international community is trying now in a light way by using broadcasting, and putting antennas in several places in Iran and also having one or two stations broadcasting real news and appropriate messages," said Amit.
"More money needs to be budgeted to this cause," Amit said.
'We're on the eve of World War III'
While the former Mossad chief did not call for a military strike against Iran, Amit said he foresees a war in the region in the future.
He said global civilization is on the verge of "World War III," a massive conflict in which the Islamic world is attempting to impose its ideology on Western nations.
"I am worried about a regional war, but also we need to look at the bigger picture and see that Islam is fighting western world and not only Israel. Look at the terror in Spain, France, London, the U.S.," said Amit.
"I call it World War III. You must look at it from this angle and treat it wider, not as a problem of terrorism here and there. The war is not being waged just by Iran and in Iraq, it's being launched by Muslims all over the world," said Amit.
Amit referenced recent terror attacks against Israel, Europe and the United States; Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions; the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan; and recent worldwide Muslim riots.
"It looks to me like it is a kind of coordinated or contemplated problem to somehow impose the Islamic idea all over the world," Amit said.
Amit urged Western nations to "unite and work together. Unfortunately, the world is not uniting. Russia is playing its own game, and so is China."
Both China and Russia have been aiding Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran claims is intended for peaceful purposes only. In a bid to soften possible sanctions against Iran, Russia earlier proposed setting up a joint venture to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian soil.
Amit's call for the "disappearing" of Ahmadinejad comes as the Iranian leader yesterday told ABC News in an interview he was "open for talks," on his country's nuclear program. Ahmadinejad denied suggestions he sought conflict with the US, saying Iran was "trying to find ways to love people".
But Ahmadinejad's statements were punctuated by comments also made yesterday by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, who told Iranian state-run television Tehran will "never" agree to suspend its nuclear activities.
"The issue of suspension is not acceptable under any conditions," Hosseini said.
Amit said Iran currently is fostering region-wide instability, funding and aiding the insurgency against US troops in Iraq, directing the Lebanese Hezbollah militia and funding Palestinian terrorism.
"But I think the most serious problem is Iran developing nuclear power," Amit said.
Reprinted with permission of WorldNetDaily