Former head of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, Meir Dagan, tells CBS that he does not believe now is the time to attack Iran’s nuclear program, in his first interview to an American media outlet.
Dagan tells 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl that the regime in Iran is a rational one. When asked whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is rational, Dagan responded that he was.
“Not exactly our rational, but I think he is rational,” Dagan said. Adding that though their rationality was different from the Western way of thinking, “they are considering all the implications of their actions…They will have to pay dearly…and I think the Iranians at this point in time are…very careful on the project,” says Dagan. “They are not running…”
Dagan tells CBS he doesn’t think Israel should strike Iran’s nuclear industry anytime soon, an attack that would have to include “a large number of targets.”
Dagan agrees with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and President Obama that there is still time to wait before dire actions need to be taken.
Dagan believes that instead of military action the West should concentrate on instigating regime change in Iran. “It’s our duty to help anyone who likes to present an open opposition against their regime in Iran,” says Dagan.
When asked by 60 Minutes whether Israel had supported the youth groups that held protests across Iran after the last round of Iranian elections, Dagan refused to answer.
Dagan said he trusted the U.S. and President Barack Obama’s resolve to stop the Iranian nuclear program. President Obama said “the military option is on the table and he is not going to let Iran become a nuclear state and from my experience, I usually trust the president of the U.S,” he says.
“The issue of Iran armed with a nuclear capability is not an Israeli problem; it’s an international problem.”
During the interview Stahl suggested that it seemed he was advocating Israel wait and have the U.S. attack Iran’s nuclear sites. Dagan replied: “If I prefer that someone will do it, I always prefer that Americans will do it,” he says.
The 60 Minutes interview will air on CBS on Sunday.
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