I watched with great interest the interview that former head of Mossad Meir Dagan gave Ilana Dayan on her program Uvda (Fact). Despite a lot of pre-released information that preceded the actual broadcast, I thought it would be important to listen to every word and to watch every facial expression before I relate to the content.
Meir Dagan’s place of honour in Israel’s hall of fame is assured. It is likely that he will be remembered as one of the most efficient and deadly heads of Mossad and there is no question as to his many achievements and his huge contribution to Israel’s national security, much of which will no doubt remain confidential for many years.
When the interview concluded and the broadcast ended, I was left with an uncomfortable feeling. A few questions that in my opinion were ought to be asked were not asked, and Mr. Dagan was of course not called upon to answer them. I will therefore take the liberty of exchanging chairs with Ilana Dayan and ask Meir Dagan a few more questions before the screen goes dark.
Sir, former head of Mossad – how do you explain the large gap between your prediction that Iran will not posses a nuclear bomb before 2015 and the many estimates saying that if Iran does not already have a bomb now, it will produce one within months?
The Iranians are working very hard on transferring their nuclear facilities to underground locations which for all practical purposes will make them immune to a military attack. They are expected to complete this transfer by the end of next year, and this is the likely reason Defence Minister Ehud Barak is talking about a window of opportunity of nine months for a military attack on the nuclear program. You advocate avoiding any military attack until all other options are exhausted and Iran is on the threshold of assembling a bomb, which you predict will not happen before 2015. But by then Iran’s nuclear facilities will be safe and sound deep underground and will not be vulnerable to an attack any more. How do you settle this paradox? Are you practically saying that Israel must learn to live with a nuclear Iran?
You claim that attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities will drag Israel into a regional war resulting in a death toll and a destruction much greater than the recent estimates made by the Defence Minister. I totally agree with you. However, two questions immediately arise – the first, what will be the death toll and destruction caused by a single Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on metropolitan Tel Aviv? And a second question – do you accept that a regional war will not necessarily be prevented by avoiding an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and that it could break out irrespective of such an attack, as a result of several other possible Middle Eastern scenarios?
Do you have any questions you would like to ask Mr. Dagan following the interview? Please leave them as comments at the bottom of this article.