- Aug 12, 2009
Sir Richard Dearlove (left) and Efraim Halevy address the Zionist Federation event in London (photo credit: Courtesy Zionist Federation)
Ex-Mossad Chief : Iran is 'dead scared of Israel'
Iran is "dead scared of Israel," and Israel has the means at its disposal to "take care of the Iranian threat," former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy said in London.
Speaking at the UK Zionist Federation's annual gala dinner last week, Halevy, who also served as Israel's national security adviser, said the Iranian threat was "very serious," that "the Iranians are misleading the world," and that "every means" should be used to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions. But for now, he cautioned, "We shouldn't discount negotiations" and shouldn't "underestimate the president of the USA. [Barack Obama] understands the rule of game."
"I have the indelible impression that Iran is dead scared of Israel," he said.In the final analysis, Halevy stated, Iran "will not make it" to the bomb.
Halevy told the audience of over 400 that Israel's existence "is not in danger and shouldn't be questioned" despite a variety of security challenges. Among them, he acknowledged that Israel now "has a serious problem concerning Syria," noting that rebel forces are present on what had for decades been a quiet border, and that "some rebel leaders have said they will do what [President Bashar] Assad couldn't do, and that's to regain the Golan Heights."
Addressing the same event, Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of Britain's MI6 secret intelligence service, described Iran as "a state with many flaws and weakness, and a political system that is very fragile. There is a way through this crisis," he insisted.Dearlove added: "Iran is equivalent to a dangerous adolescent, but one does not want that adolescent to have access to certain technologies and weapons. The route the international community is on is the best and most practical."
Hinting at the possibility of the regime falling, he said, "I wouldn't actually rule out significant political change in Iran. Politics in Iran is not stable." He noted that Iranians see the collapse of the Assad regime in Syria as "the start of an attack on the viability of their own regime."
Israel's Ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, praised the Zionist Federation as one of "the most passionate, energetic and effective organizations working to support the state of Israel"¦ at the very forefront of making Israel's case."Israel's Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub addresses the Zionist Federation event in London (photo credit: Courtesy Zionist Federation)
"In today's climate if you are antisemitic," Taub noted, "probably the most convenient avenue for you to express your hatred is through hatred of the state of Israel." Israel, he said, "has many faults and we are working to correct them. But we also have to remember that at its core the hostility towards Israel has nothing to do with our failures. In fact it's the contrary, it has to do with its success."
He went on: "The fanatics who disrupt Israeli performers and Israeli orchestras, who try to shut down Israeli speakers or try to cut ties with Histadrut, the only democratic trade union in the Middle East — all of these people don't care about Israel's faults. What they cannot accept is that despite all their efforts to the contrary, Israel is alive and well and flourishing economically and culturally. It's investing and creating, winning Nobel prizes, helping the third world in agriculture and medicine"¦ That is the Israel the ZF is supporting."
Alan Aziz, the director of the Zionist Federation — which runs more than 170 events a year including seminars, advocacy campaigns, training programs, demonstrations and cultural events — said the event was sold out, and that the audience included the heads of 35 other organizations.