Iran strike? No, thank you – Meir Dagan
Photo: Yaron Brener
Senior Israeli officials often say that "all options are on the table" in respect to Iran's nuclear program, yet former Mossad Director Meir Dagan presented a different thesis Friday.
While Israel must not accept nuclear weapons in Iran's hands, he said, "An aerial strike on the reactors is a dumb idea that has no benefit."
Dagan made the comments during a forum discussion at Jerusalem's Hebrew University.
"Those who strike in Iran must realize that they may prompt a regional war, where missiles will be fired by Iran and by Hezbollah from Lebanon as well," the former Mossad chief said. "The Iranian problem must be shaped as an international problem, and efforts to delay Iran's nuclear program should continue."
'No change in Egypt'Addressing the recent unrest throughout the Arab world, the former Mossad chief said that "there is no tsunami of change in the Middle East." Recent developments merely reflect historic rifts within Arab societies, he said.
Turning his attention to developments in Syria, Dagan said that President Bashar Assad and Syria's Alawite elite will be fighting to the end because they have no other alternative. "It's either wining or dying, and they understand it," he said.
As to Egypt, Dagan estimated that there was no chance of the Islamic Brotherhood taking power, predicting that the country's ruling elite will continue to govern Israel's southern neighbor.
What happened in Egypt "was not a revolution, but rather, a change of leadership," he said, noting that the entire ruling elite remained intact. For that reason he said, Egypt will not fundamentally change its attitude to Israel, but anti-Semitic rhetoric will persist.
Referring to the Gilad Shalit affair, Dagan said that he is in favor of a prisoner swap, but not at any price.
"There are some things that a state cannot afford," he said.
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