BESA Center Experts Say: Iran is an Intolerable Threat

"As steep as the price for hitting Iran may be, a military strike on Iran will be less painful than the cost of living with an Iranian nuclear weapons threat," argues former Mossad head Maj. Gen. (res.) Danny Yatom. "The backlash from a strike on Iran's nuclear sites will not be as bad for Israel as will an Iran armed with nuclear weapons," he says. "I don't think that those predicting apocalyptic repercussions of a strike on Tehran are correct, and even if they are, Israel can't afford to wonder if Tehran will go crazy and bomb us."

Yatom made these remarks yesterday (November 23, 2011) at a BESA Center conference on Israel's new strategic environment, which focused on the so-called "Arab Spring" and its implications. Speaking alongside him was the Prime Minister's former National Security Advisor Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan.

Yatom's position is diametrically opposed to that of former Mossad head Meir Dagan, who sparked significant controversy earlier this year by stating that an attack on Iran would be a foolish move that would lead to a war with an unknown outcome.

It is impossible to stake the nation's security on predictions by those who claim a nuclear Iran can be deterred and that the Iranian regime would not launch a nuclear attack, Yatom added. He acknowledged that rocket attacks would likely ensue from Lebanon and Gaza following a Western or Israeli strike against Iran, but added that Israel's response would be "so painful and crushing that rockets will come to an end. Civilian facilities and infrastructure in Lebanon and Gaza will have to be hit. Innocent civilians could be hurt. But we will have to deliver a crushing blow so that the barrage of rockets against us will not continue."...

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