Ex-Mossad Chief Dagan: Conflict between Israel, Iran is the entire world´s problem (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Haaretz 04/30/12)
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Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan said on Sunday that Iran´s leadership
is using "smart" diplomacy to advance its nuclear program, and that
the Iranian threat is not a "quarrel" between Israel and Iran, but an
Speaking at a conference sponsored by the Jerusalem Post in New York,
Dagan described President Ahmadinejad´s regime as "smart" and "a
master of diplomacy that heads forward consistently to achieve its
It is wrong to describe the issue as a "quarrel between Israel and
Iran," Dagan asserted, adding that the Iranian problem "must be
solved by the international community."
Earlier at the conference, Dagan backed former head of the Shin Bet
security service, Yuval Diskin, who sharply criticized the Israeli
leadership over the weekend. Diskin criticized Netanyahu and Barak on
their bellicose stance on Iran, as well as what he called the
premier´s unwillingness to advance peace talks with the Palestinian
Dagan said that Diskin was his friend, and added that he "spoke his
The former Mossad chief said that he agrees with Prime Minister
Netanyahu´s government that the Iran threat is a real problem, but
disagrees with their policy on solving it. If the problem will not be
resolved, Dagan added, a nuclear arms race will begin "all over the
world, and not just in the Middle East."
Dagan also referred to the peace process with the Palestinians,
saying that the issue should be resolved urgently, because it has had
a "destructive effect" on Israel´s relations with the Arab world.
Time is of the essence, Dagan added.
Regarding the situation in Syria, Dagan said he supports the removal
of President Bashar Assad, but did not mention how this goal should
be achieved, only stating that there is a need to find a way to
establish a Sunni regime in Assad´s place that has the support of
Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states. This kind of development,
Dagan said, will weaken the military and political force of
Hezbollah, and the status of Iran in the region.
Dagan also spoke about the Arab Spring uprisings, which have swept
the region since early 2011, saying that he does not predict
a "conventional problem" for Israel in the next two-three years as a
result of the revolutions. He said he thinks these countries will be
kept busy with internal power struggles. He said that the Arab league
is moderate compared to past years, and that Israel has a wide shared
interest with some moderate Arab countries as a result of the Iranian
threat and of radical Islam.
On Friday, comments made by Diskin in his local town of Kfar Sava
came to light. During an event in a local restaurant, the former
intelligence chief unleashed a scathing attack on Netanyahu and
Barak, saying he had "no faith" in their leadership.
Diskin criticized Netanyahu and Barak on their bellicose stance on
Iran, as well as what he called the premier´s unwillingness to
advance peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
An official response from the two arrived late on Saturday, leaving
Likud ministers to fend for their party leader, with some accusing
the former Shin Bet chief of acting from resentment and personal
Former PM Ehud Olmert also criticized Israel´s confrontation with the
U.S. government at the conference, and said that, "this is not the
time or the place to talk or to about or to initiate" a military
strike on Iran.
Olmert refused to address the remarks by Diskin´s remarks, but
stated, "We would all like to trust in Israel´s leadership."
Olmert criticized the government, and said that it "is making a
mistake" in the way it handles its ties with the Barack Obama
administration. "There is no reason for us to look as if we are
giving orders to the U.S. government," he said. (© Copyright 2012
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