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An Attack on Iran 'Within Weeks or Months'

Former head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate predicts that an Israeli attack on Iran could take place in the near future.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 8/3/2012, 10:37 PM

Nuclear reactor (illustration)
Nuclear reactor (illustration)
Flash 90

Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, former head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate, predicted on Friday that an Israeli attack on Iran could take place in the near future.

“It could happen within weeks or months,” Ze’evi-Farkash said in an interview with Channel 2 News.

“There is a need to stop Iran's nuclear program,” he clarified, adding, “I do not know if Israel plans to attack soon, the prime minister said the issue has not yet been decided. But the way I understand the big picture, it seems it will happen soon.”

Ze’evi-Farkash also sided with other former senior defense officials, such as former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin, who have expressed their opposition to the move. Ze’evi-Farkash warned that an attack on Iran may cause significant damage to Israel, saying he believes Israel should prepare a plan for military action, but at least for now - not apply it in practice.

“We must take into account that at this time we should re-evaluate the picture that emerges regarding our ability to act, when required to do so,” he said, stressing that his remarks should not be seen as a call to remove the military option off the table.

“The Iranians need to understand that if they do not cease their efforts to become nuclear, the moment will come when they will have to absorb a blow - especially to their military bases,” said Ze’evi-Farkash, who predicted that in such a case the IDF will not operate alone. “The blow will be dealt by a coalition, an American one or even an Israeli one.”

The main message Ze'evi-Farkash wanted to convey was in regards to priorities he feels the Israeli political leadership should adopt.

“There are several options, only the last of which should be attacking,” he stressed. “We have to give the coalition that is pressuring Iran a chance to act and let things settle. Only if all of this will not work, there will be a need to take military action.”

He also noted the great importance, in the event of military action against Iran, of raising as broad a support as possible within the international community.

“If ultimately we have no choice we’ll have to make decisions according to the situation at the time,” said Ze’evi-Farkash. “The fact that a coalition putting pressure on Iran has been formed is a stunning achievement which should be given the chance to gain strength.”

Ze’evi-Farkash’s comments come after former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy indicated on Thursday that Israel is likely to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities in a matter of weeks.

“If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks,” he told the New York Times.

The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari, admitted on Friday that the main threat to his country is the “soft war” being waged against it.

Jafari did not clarify exactly what he meant, but soft war is a term which usually describes steps such as sanctions, cyber warfare and espionage activities.

On Wednesday, the United States Congress passed a new package of sanctions against Iran. The sanctions aim to punish banks, insurance companies and shippers that help Tehran sell its oil.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)