Ashkenazi Slams Dagan Over Iran Attack Remarks
Former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi says ex-Mossad chief should have kept things “inside the room.”
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/20/2011, 9:45 PM / Last Update: 6/20/2011, 10:28 PM
Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has joined the voices criticizing former Mossad chief Meir Dagan for his statements against attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Daily newspaper Ma'ariv quoted statements made by Ashkenazi at the home of Canadian philanthropist Jerry Schwartz. “I do not think one should voice a strong opinion on whether an attack on Iran is required now, or other options,” he explained. “There are arguments in both directions, obviously there are disagreements, but what is important is keeping them inside the room and not outside it.”
Ashkenazi also discounted Dagan’s prediction that whereas Dagan, Ashkenazi and former Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Yuval Diskin were able to talk the Prime Minister and Defense Minister out of attacking Iran, their successors will not.
“I, Gabi and Yuval were the only ones who blocked the attack on Iran,” Dagan was quoted as saying. “I’m afraid our successors will fail in this mission.”
“I am certain that Benny, Tamir and Yoram will know how to voice their opinions to the leaders, they will not be afraid to voice it and will not bow their heads,” said Ashkenazi – referring respectively to IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, and Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen.
“Israel must not allow a situation where there is an option for a nuclear cloud over its skies,” said Ashkenazi, “but that does not mean that a military option is the best one at this moment.”