Former Mossad chief: Pre-emptive attack on Iran would be stupid

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, March 12, 2012 10:47 EDT
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Meir Dagan, former head of Israel's spy service, speaks to I>60 Minutes. Screenshot via CBS News.
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In an unprecedented interview, the former head of Israel’s spy service told 60 Minutes this week that Iran is nowhere near developing a nuclear weapon, and warned that if Israel attacks its neighbor, it would trigger a “rain of missiles” upon the Jewish state.

Meir Dagan, who ran Mossad for almost a decade with the singular focus of stopping Iran’s nuclear program, told the CBS News program that there’s a window of at least three years before Iran could feasibly develop nuclear weapons.

Attacking before then, he said, would be “the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

He added that Iran, in its own way, is a “rational” actor, echoing recent comments by the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that have drawn criticism by Republicans on the campaign trail.

Dagan also said that Iran will have to pay dearly if they do, in fact, develop a weapon, adding that they are carefully weighing the consequences.

Dagan’s speaking out is a rare glimpse inside the Israeli government, which has been applying immense pressure on the U.S. to help them in an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. He even said that some have called to put him on trial for treason over his public denouncement of Israel’s march to war, although he also welcomed his critics.

“Let them put me on trial,” he said. “I’ll be very happy to go on trial. It’ll be fun.”

The video below was broadcast by CBS News’s 60 Minutes on Sunday, March 11, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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