Published on HAARETZ, by Amos Harel, December 1, 2011.
Meir Dagan speaks out against military offensive on Iran, expresses concern that Defense Minister Barak believes Israel only has less than a year to carry out an attack … //
… “I think that engaging, with open eyes, in a regional war is warranted only when we are under attack or when the sword is already cutting against our live flesh. It is not an alternative that should be chosen lightly.”
Dagan stressed that though he cannot predict how many casualties an attack on Iran would yield, he said, “I have to assume that the level of destruction, paralysis of every-day life, and Israeli death toll would be high.”
He said that he has no interest in hiding his fervent opposition to an Israeli attack on Iran from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Dagan said he was worried about Barak’s past comments on Iran, saying Barak believes Israel has less than a year to carry out an military strike.
“I am very concerned,” he said. “My understanding of Barak’s comments is that Israel must act within this timeframe, but I don’t believe this is accurate.”
Earlier Thursday, Barak responded to comments by U.S. Joints Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, who said that he did not know whether Israel would alert the United States ahead of time if it decided to take military action against Iran.
Barak said Israel isn’t looking for war with Iran and said that he would be pleased if diplomatic moves and sanctions sway Tehran away from its contentious nuclear program … (full text).