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31 May, 2018 21:17

Netanyahu wanted IDF to prepare for Iran strike on 15-day notice in 2011 – ex-Mossad chief

Netanyahu wanted IDF to prepare for Iran strike on 15-day notice in 2011 – ex-Mossad chief

Back in 2011, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the military to get ready to strike Iran with only a two-week preparation period, former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo revealed. Such a strike would have resulted in open war.

It’s the first time a former Israeli official gave an insight on how long such large-scale military operations would (and should) take IDF to prepare.

Pardo, who was picked for his role earlier that year, was unsure about the idea even wondered if the Prime Minister had the authority to order the action, the former spy chief said in an interview with Keshet TV’s “Uvda” investigative show, broadcast on Thursday evening. The strikes were intended to target Iran’s nuclear facilities, but such action would likely have resulted in a full-blown war.

“I made inquiries about everything I could do. I checked with previous Mossad chiefs. I checked with legal advisers. I consulted anyone I could consult in order to understand who is authorized to give instructions about the whole issue of starting a war,” Pardo said, as quoted by Israeli media.

“In the end, if I get an order and if I get an instruction from the prime minister, I am supposed to carry it out,” he said. “I need to be certain if, God forbid, something goes wrong, even if the operation fails, that it shouldn’t be a situation that I carried out an illegal action.”

Pardo even contemplated to resign if the situation got too close to the point of no return, but never had to make such choice, as the idea to strike Iranian nuclear facilities was scrapped.

While Tel Aviv’s plans to attack Tehran in early 2010s were rumored for years, they’ve been officially acknowledged only in 2015, by Netanyahu’s former defense minister Ehud Barak. The minister himself supported the idea to conduct strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, but faced opposition of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chef, who argued Israel did not have needed operational capabilities, as well as from other cabinet ministers.

Revelations from the former Mossad chief on past Israeli military plans came a day after new warlike statements from Netanyahu, who vowed to continue striking Iranian targets in Syria. “We will continue to act against [Iran’s] intention to establish a military presence in Syria opposite us, not just opposite the Golan Heights but anywhere in Syria,” the prime minister said.

READ MORE: Israel moves Security Cabinet meetings to secret underground bunker to stop leaks – reports

While Israel has been repeatedly hitting targets in neighboring Syria over years, using the presence of Iranian or Iran-affiliated troops – such as the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah – as justification. Tel Aviv has significantly bolstered its military activity over the past few months, citing the same alleged build-up of Iranian forces.

Iran and Syria accuse the Israelis of violating international law by continued involvement in Syria and say Tel Aviv simply uses any pretext to attack the country to help the dwindling terrorist forces.

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