Meir Dagan
Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan Photo by Nir Keidar
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Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan said that an Israeli strike on Iran would lead to a missile attack on Israel that would have a "devastating impact" on the country, in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS's 60 minutes.

According to Dagan, an attack will start a regional war.  “And wars, you know how they start. You never know how you are ending it," he said.

“I think that Israel will be in a very serious situation for quite a time,” Dagan told 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl, when asked about a possible Israeli response to an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program.

Dagan also expressed skepticism over the effectiveness of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program to deny Iran nuclear weapons. Unlike what has been reported in the past, according to Dagan there aren’t four Iranian nuclear sites but “dozens.”

Dagan said that no military attack could halt the Iranian nuclear project, rather an attack could only serve to delay it.

In his first interview to an American media outlet Dagan said he did not believe now is the time to attack Iran’s nuclear program.

Dagan said the regime in Iran is a rational one. When asked whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was 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,” Dagan said. “They are not running…”

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."

“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 said.

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