Tags: Iran | Israel | North Korea | Syria | War on Terrorism | Shin Bet | worried

Ex-Shin Bet Chief: Israel Should Be 'Very Worried' by Iran Deal

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 10:49 PM

According to the former head of Israel's Shin Bet, the country's domestic security service, Israel has "good reasons to be worried, even very worried" about a potential nuclear deal between Iran and the international powers known as the P5+1.

Avi Dichter, who also has served as the country's public security minister and returned to the Knesset this week as a member of the ruling Likud party, told the Hebrew-language Walla news agency that the emerging nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran would make the Islamic Republic a threshold nuclear state.

Dichter said Israel would launch a military strike if necessary, The Times of Israel reported.

He said it was troubling that Iran had seen its regional standing bolstered by its negotiations with the United States and five other international powers: Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China.

Iran has "moved from a position of isolation, of losing its northern axis — Iraq, Syria and Lebanon," he said. But it "suddenly becomes the favorite son of the West in general, and the U.S. in particular."

Despite assurances by President Barack Obama that Iran would be at least one year away from a nuclear weapon under the emerging deal, Dichter said the accord would leave it just a few months away from crossing that threshold.

During Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's tenure, Dichter was the only Israeli cabinet minister to abstain from supporting the September 2007 strike that destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor, The New Yorker reported.

Olmert, a dovish Israeli leader, felt it necessary to wipe out that reactor, which many experts think was part of a joint North Korean-Iranian nuclear weapons effort. But Dichter had reservations at the time.

Nearly eight years later, however, Dichter does not sound hesitant at all when it comes to Iran. He said Israel must retain the capability of preventing a bad Iranian nuclear deal from taking effect, using military force if necessary, The Times of Israel reported.

If the deal "gains skin and ligaments," Dichter said, "then Israel will be required, when the day comes, to have offensive capabilities as well as defensive."

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According to the former head of Israel's Shin Bet, the country's domestic security service, Israel has "good reasons to be worried, even very worried" about a potential nuclear deal between Iran and the international powers known as the P5+1.
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Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 10:49 PM
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