Daily Israel Report

Former Mossad Chief: Iranian Regime is 'Rational'

Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan tells CBS: Ahmadinejad is rational. Iran is considering all the implications of its actions.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/9/2012, 7:15 AM

Meir Dagan
Meir Dagan
Flash 90

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who has more than once expressed his position that an Israeli attack in Iran would be a mistake, is reiterating his position, this time on an American network.

In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” which will air on Sunday and of which portions were released Thursday, Dagan said, “An attack on Iran before you are exploring all other approaches is not the right way how to do it.”

According to Dagan, who spoke with Lesley Stahl, “The regime in Iran is a very rational regime.” When asked whether he thinks Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is rational, he answered, “The answer is yes. Not exactly our rational, but I think that he is rational.”

“No doubt that the Iranian regime is maybe not exactly rational based on what I call Western thinking, but no doubt they are considering all the implications of their actions,” Dagan told Stahl.

He also said he thinks it would be a mistake to make this situation an Israeli-Iranian issue, saying it should be an international issue. He said he would really like Israel to sit back and let the Americans take care of Iran.

Last month, Dagan said he does not believe a nuclear Iran would be an existential threat to Israel. The position puts him at odds with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has referred to an Iranian nuclear bomb as an existential threat to Israel more than once.

Dagan previously said the Netanyahu government’s policies on Iran are irresponsible, and publicly warned against attacking Iran. He said that an aerial attack on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities would be a “dumb idea, the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

The Prime Minister’s Office subsequently threatened to confiscate his diplomatic passport because of his remarks.

He later said that Israel’s system of government needs an overhaul, adding senior officials were seeking to silence his opposition to striking Iran's nuclear program.