head of the Mossad, MISSES 2 PONITS, Iran nukes
Israel plays down chances for Iran regime change
JERUSALEM, June 16 (Reuters) - The head of head of the Mossad, MISSES 2 PONITS, Iran nukes the Mossad intelligence agency said on Tuesday Israel doubted that unrest over Iran's disputed election would lead to any regime change or alleviate concerns about Tehran's atomic programme.
Meir Dagan told lawmakers in a closed-door briefing that "Iranian reality isn't about to change following the elections," said an official briefing reporters after the session.
"Will there be a revolution? I doubt it," added Dagan, a veteran of the agency that keeps a close watch on the Islamic Republic whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the contested winner of Friday's poll, has called for Israel's destruction.
Despite Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel pronouncements, Dagan suggested Israel was more comfortable with his declared victory in Friday's poll over reformist candidate Mirrhossein Mousavi.
Mousavi's moderate reputation may have made it harder to press on with world pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear development, which Israel thinks may lead to production of an atomic bomb within five years, Dagan said.
As Iranian prime minister in the 1980's Mousavi had a role in the launch of Iran's nuclear programme, and if he had won "it would have been more difficult for us, Israel" to try to halt its work, Dagan was quoted to have said.
Dagan said Iran's nuclear programme was "a threat of existential significance for Israel, and it must be neutralised," but there was still room to try and do so by means of diplomatic pressure and sanctions against Tehran.
Previous diplomatic and economic pressure had succeeded in slowing Iran's nuclear development in 2003, Dagan maintained.
Meir Dagan MISSES two points:
First the wild card in Iran, the Military.
So far they have taken no hand in suppressing
Second is the N. Korea connection.
If N. Korea get a shipment to Iran,
then Iran could test a N. Korean type
nuke in a month.