Ex-Mossad chief: Now is not the time to attack Iran

Former Mossad director Meir Dagan appears on the CBS show "60 minutes." (CBS)

JERUSALEM (JWN and agencies)—Meir Dagan, the former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, said in his first American interview that Iran’s regime is “rational” in that “they are considering all the implications of their actions.”

For this reason, Dagan told CBS’s 60 Minutes, he does not believe that now is the time to attack Iran’s nuclear program.

Dagan told host Lesley Stahl that the regime in Iran is a rational one. When asked whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is rational, Dagan responded that he is.

“Not exactly our rational, but I think he is rational,” Dagan said. Although Iranian rationality differs from the Western kind, he said, “they are considering all the implications of their actions…They will have to pay dearly…and I think the Iranians at this point in time are…very careful on the project. They are not running…”

Dagan agrees with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and President Barack Obama that there is still time to wait for diplomacy and sanctions to have an impact before taking military action.

Instead of planning military action, Dagan said, the West should concentrate on encouraging regime change in Iran. “It’s our duty to help anyone who likes to present an open opposition against their regime in Iran,” says Dagan.

Dagan said he trusts the US and Obama’s resolve to stop the Iranian nuclear program. He said he believes Obama when the president said that “the military option is on the table and he is not going to let Iran become a nuclear state and from my experience, I usually trust the president of the US.”

Above all, Dagan stressed, “The issue of Iran armed with a nuclear capability is not an Israeli problem; it’s an international problem.”

Asked by Stahl whether he was advocating that Israel wait and have the US attack Iran’s nuclear sites, Dagan replied: “If I prefer that someone will do it, I always prefer that Americans will do it.”