Ex-Mossad chief asked to return diplomatic passport

Times of India – June 20, 2011

Israel’s recently retired top spy Meir Dagan has been asked to immediately surrender his diplomatic passport after he publicly criticised the government’s stance on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The former Mossad head had made statements against Israeli government’s stand on an aerial attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, terming it as “the stupidest thing I have ever heard” and a “dumb idea”.

It is customary for high-ranking Israeli officials to keep their diplomatic passport until it expires naturally after they have left office.

The move comes as a response to Dagan’s recent comments in which he publicly criticised the government’s stance on Iran, Israel Channel 2 reported on Sunday.

The former top spy, one of the longest serving official in that position, had requested authorities to allow him to use his diplomatic passport for several trips he was planning in the coming weeks. However, government officials denied his request and asked him to return the passport, the report said.

The PMO issued a statement in response to the report claiming that the foreign ministry allowed Dagan to keep his diplomatic passport for the trips he had requested and only return it when he was done.

“A diplomatic passport is given to officials in order to aid them in their jobs. According to the rulers, when those people are no longer assuming those positions, they are asked to return the diplomatic passport,” the statement said.

In recent weeks, Dagan has attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak at several public forums, stressing that the Israeli leadership has been acting irresponsibly when it came to Iran.

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