Jan 7, 2011

Outgoing Mossad Chief Says Iran Won't Have Nuclear Weapons Until 2015

Joel C. RosenbergBy Joel C. Rosenberg

What’s the latest status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program?

In the first video blog we produced for the new Joshua Fund website in December, I offered a “Year End Assessment of the Iranian Nuclear Threat.” Based on discussions with numerous U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials and analysts, I concluded that the prospect of war between Iran and Israel in the first six months of 2011 had diminished and that there was a growing sense that the West’s covert war to slow Iran’s bid for nuclear weapons was working. The threat of Iran getting the Bomb is certainly still there, but for the moment the good guys seem to have the upper hand.

That was December. January now brings official confirmation of that assessment.

“Meir Dagan, who retired from his post as Mossad chief on Thursday after eight years, does not believe Iran will have nuclear capability before 2015,” reports the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “In a summary given to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Dagan said Iran was a long way from being able to produce nuclear weapons, following a series of failures that had set its program back by several years…. Dagan concluded his term saying Iran was still far from being capable of producing nuclear weapons and that a series of malfunctions had put off its nuclear goal for several years. Therefore, he said, Iran will not get hold of the bomb before 2015 approximately.”

“The Israeli intelligence community’s assessments of Iran’s nuclear capability have changed during Dagan’s tenure,” the story noted. “In 2003, Israeli intelligence officials thought Iran would have its first bomb by 2007. In 2007, they thought it would be 2009, and a year later they put it at 2011. Now the date has moved to 2015. These adjustments were not the result of mistaken evaluations, but due to the difficulties Iran has encountered in advancing its program, largely because of the Mossad’s efforts.” The article also stated that “Dagan’s term centered around two main issues: the Iranian nuclear program; and the assassinations of Hezbollah and Hamas leaders and Iranian scientists, most if not all of which have been attributed to the Mossad.”

Dagan’s testimony is the strongest evidence so far that the covert war underway inside Iran — the Stuxnet computer virus, assassinations, defections, sabotage, and other measures – has had a dramatic impact on slowing down Iran’s effort to build nuclear weapons. The question is this: Is Dagan’s assessment accurate? Does Israel and the world really have until 2015, or do the mullahs have a separate, secret track they are operating on that could cause Iran to acquire the Bomb sooner? Time will tell.

Related Links

Psalm 83 or Ezekiel 38, Which is the Next Middle East News Headline? - BPB (Bill Salus)
Outgoing Mossad chief: Iran won't have nuclear capability before 2015 - Ha'aretz
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The Twelfth Imam - Joel C. Rosenberg (Book)
Israel's Dagan: No Iran nukes until 2015 - UPI