An Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities could impact Israel “for the next 100 years,” former Mossad Director Ephraim Halevy told Time Magazine.
Halevy told Time, which interviewed several Israeli intelligence officials on the Iran question, that an attack aiming to disrupt Tehran’s nuclear program “will have a negative effect on public opinion in the Arab world. Israel should only strike Iran as a last resort, he said.
The former Mossad chief also sought to downplay the Iranian threat, saying that “Iran is not 10 feet tall.” He told Time that he believes an Iranian missile attack on Israel would not cause a great amount of damage as dozens of missiles will be shot down by Israel. Halevy also said he doubted whether Hizbullah or Syria would want to risk a major confrontation by striking Israel in response to an attack on Iran.
Meanwhile, a former senior Mossad officer told Time that Israel is not likely to attack Iran before the US elections, as not to undermine the chances of Republican candidate John McCain.
“No Israeli leader wants to be blamed for destroying the Republican chances,” the former Mossad official said. Other sources told Time that Israel’s window of opportunity for an Iran strike would therefore open up between November and the swearing-in of the new president in January 2009.
It’s nice to hear that at least some Israelis are talking sense but whether any of Israel’s current leaders will heed their advice is open to question.