The secretive retired major general, who restored the Mossad to its heyday of operational ability, hates to appear before the Knesset's defense and foreign affairs committee because his testimony is often leaked by headline-seeking politicians.
But Dagan had to appear before it Tuesday to present his annual intelligence report — and much of it concerned Tehran's drive to join the nuclear club.
"Without external intervention, Iran will arrive within several months to the point of nuclear technology independence," he said.
He said such technological independence doesn't mean "a bomb in your hands," but it does mean they'll be able to enrich uranium with centrifuges. Building a bomb would only be a matter of time.
The concern of Israel's intelligence community, he added, is that "Iran will not be satisfied with producing fissionable material for one bomb but will continue to produce large quantities of such material for more bombs."
The bottom line, said Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the Knesset committee, is "Iran is capable of getting a bomb in a year or two.
"And if it does, there will be a new Middle East — black, dangerous and threatening the world over."
So what can be done?
Dagan stressed the importance of intensifying international diplomatic pressure on Iran because past efforts managed to delay its nuclear efforts by two years.
But the hard-liners in Tehran detect an erosion in the international diplomatic pressure on them.
Aharon Zeevi, Israel's chief of military intelligence — whose efforts to monitor Iran's nuke program rivals Dagan's — said the lack of pressure is partly due to the Europeans.
"I had meetings with senior officials in Europe," he said. "And their position is, number one — why should we fear Iran's nuclear weapons? After all we lived under the nuclear threat after World War II?"
"Number two," he added, is the Europeans respond, "And besides, either you or the Americans will solve the problem."
If, at the end of the day, we have to "solve the problem", why is it the left insists so vehemently on cooperation with an international community that is useless and cowardly. . - Atlas
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