'Irregularities commonplace.' Dagan
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Iranian woman protests elections
Photo: AFP

Mossad chief: Civil unrest in Iran will end soon

Dagan downplays significance of riots in protest of Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection, says 'what matters is Khamenei's position, which hasn't changed'; adds: Iran will have ready-to-launch nuclear bomb if its program not disrupted

The civil unrest that has followed the disputed re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not continue much longer, Mossad chief Meir Dagan estimated on Tuesday.


Speaking before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Dagan downplayed the significance of the riots, saying they were taking place only in Tehran and one other province.


According to the Mossad chief, the irregularities and forgeries reported during the elections were similar to those "in any democratic country."


"What matters is the position of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and that hasn't changed," he told the MKs. "The dispute is taking place among the Iranian elite."   


Iranian state television reported Tuesday that the country's top legislative body, the Guardian Council, was ready to recount disputed ballot boxes from last week's presidential election. 


The council said the recount may lead to changes in candidates' tally, according to the television report.


Press TV said the council had agreed for a recount of disputed ballot boxes in the election. Defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has appealed to the council for the election to be annulled, but has said he was not optimistic about its verdict.


On Monday Defense Minister Ehud Barak  said "I'm not sure if the (election) results reflect the real will of the Iranian people. 


"The triumph of the extremists is bad news, as any kind of victory of extremists should be defined," Barak told journalists at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget.


As for Iran's nuclear aspirations, Dagan said it may have a ready-to-launch nuclear bomb by the end of 2014 unless its nuclear program is disrupted "on a technological level."


He stressed that a nuclear Iran would pose a "serious existential threat on the State of Israel's existence" and that the threat "must be removed."


Dudi Cohen and news agencies contributed to this report 


פרסום ראשון: 06.16.09, 14:57
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