‘Iran could accelerate nuclear program if Israel attacks´ (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV LAPPIN 05/02/12)
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Iran would possibly accelerate its nuclear weapons program after a
future Israeli military strike, former IDF Intelligence head Shlomo
Gazit told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
Gazit, a senior research fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute
for National Security Studies, made the comments in response to a
question put to him by the Post over recent views aired by former
Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) director Yuval Diskin, who
questioned the effectiveness of an Israeli strike.
The public discourse over a strike largely neglected the likelihood
that Iran would resume its program after being attacked, Gazit noted.
He said he agreed with Diskin that an Israeli attack would not
destroy the program, and could even accelerate it, while enabling
Iran to legitimize its efforts diplomatically.
A US or international strike, by contrast, could certainly lead to
the destruction of the Iranian program, Gazit added.
Referring to Diskin’s blistering attacks on Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak as “messianic” leaders who
cannot be trusted, Gazit said, “Even if they have messianic
considerations, this is not important. They were legally elected
through a ballot, and Diskin should direct his claims [against them]
to the electorate.”
The security expert dismissed claims that Diskin should have quit his
post if he did not trust his superiors.
“Such an expectation of the personal staff of a political leader
would be understandable. The test of a Shin Bet head is his ability
to manage the organization which he leads and carry out his duties.
As long as the political leadership does not prevent him from doing
this, there is no reason for him to quit,” he said.
On Sunday, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan backed Diskin at The
Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, and clashed with Environmental
Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, who accused Diskin of acting out of
personal frustrations. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/02/12)
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