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      Dagan and Colleagues Call for Tough Economic Sanctions on Iran

      Former Mossad Chief Dagan co-authors article with former intelligence chiefs and other officials, calls for tough sanctions on Iran.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 5/18/2012, 5:38 AM

      Meir Dagan
      Meir Dagan
      Flash 90

      Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan, who has several times clarified that he is against an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, recruited several former intelligence chiefs and other officials for his cause on Thursday.

      Dagan co-authored an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal in which he wrote that robust international sanctions would isolate Iran and bring to a halt in its drive to produce nuclear weapons.

      Dagan’s co-authors were former head of the CIA James Woolsey, German intelligence chief August Hanning, former chief of the United Kingdom’s defense staff General Charles Guthrie and American diplomats Kristen Silverberg and Mark D. Wallace.

      “Our near future carries the risk of a military conflict with Iran, or a nuclear arms race in the already-volatile Middle East,” wrote Dagan and his co-authors. “It is still possible to avoid these outcomes, but only if like-minded nations act immediately to deliver a potentially decisive economic blow to the regime.”

      They added, “It’s common sense that before undertaking military action against a country, we should first try to dissuade it from its current course by applying decisive economic pressure. Doing so will show the regime that the world is serious and committed, willing to do whatever it takes to stop Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

      Dagan and his colleagues called on the international community to fully sever Iran from the international financial system, cut its commercial ties by forcing companies to disclose all dealings with the Islamic Republic, deny Iran access to international shipping and prohibit insurance companies working with Iran from operating in the United States and the European Union.

      “History has made clear that the regime will never change course due to half-measures; only serious steps like we’ve outlined have a chance of success,” they said. “With Iran finally feeling real impact from international sanctions, now is the time to increase the pressure.”

      In March, Dagan told CBS that “an attack on Iran before you are exploring all other approaches is not the right way how to do it.”

      The former Mossad chief claimed in the interview that “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.”

      Dagan previously said he does not believe a nuclear Iran would be an existential threat to Israel and also said the Netanyahu government’s policies on Iran are irresponsible, publicly warning against attacking Iran.

      Most recently he verbally confronted Environment Minister Gilad Erdan during a conference in New York. The two were at odds over disparaging remarks to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak that were made by former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin.