If the visit to Washington last week by the head of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, was not enough to communicate Israel’s growing impatience with the international community’s failure to deal with Tehran’s unchecked development of nuclear technology and bellicose threats to wipe the Jewish state “off the map,” Ehud Olmert, prime minister designate, made it clear yesterday by denouncing Iran’s president as a “psychopath” and comparing him to Hitler.
Mossad chief Meir Dagan, in Washington last week in preparation for a visit to the U.S. by Olmert on May 23, held secret meetings with U.S. officials to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, reports the London Times. While details of the meetings were not revealed, it is believed Dagan met with his counterparts at the CIA, the Pentagon and the National Security Council.
“Dagan is not given to small talk and niceties,” said an Israeli intelligence source, who believes Dagan’s message to Washington policy makers was simple and blunt: “This is what we know and this is what we’ll do if you continue to do nothing.”
The revelation of the briefing comes in the wake of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) admission of alarming “gaps” in its knowledge of Iran’s centrifuge program to enrich uranium and the level of involvement of Iran’s military. Many intelligence experts believe Iran is operating a parallel nuclear program where military applications are secretly under development. Mossad reportedly claims to have evidence of enrichment sites in Iran hidden to IAEA inspectors “which can short-cut their timetable in the race for their first bomb.”
“When I read the recent reports regarding Iran, I saw a monster in the making,” said Dr. Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the Israeli parliament’s foreign and defense committee.
Steinitz, who oversees Mossad’s activities in Iran, fears Iran’s first nuclear bomb is just one year away. “There is only one option that is worse than military action against Iran and that is to sit and do nothing,” he said.
Publicly, at least, the Bush administration is still talking diplomacy and economic sanctions to achieve a “peaceful solution” following last week’s IAEA report documenting Iran’s non-compliance.
The U.S., Britain, France and Germany will face off this week against a resistant China and Russia over a resolution from the U.N. Security Council mandating Iran suspend its uranium enrichment. Given President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s scornful dismissal of resolutions from the U.N., something stronger, like sanctions could follow.
Russia and China, however, may scuttle any U.N. efforts to stop Iran. China just announced a $100 billion energy deal with Iran, with Beijing’s ambassador declaring, “No country can prevent the deal.” If the U.N. fails to act, the U.S. will seek Iran’s economic isolation at the July G8 summit in St. Petersburg.
But given the fast pace at which many intelligence experts believe Iran’s nuclear program is advancing, July is a long time off, especially for the Israelis who, as WorldNetDaily has reported, are already being targeted by Iran’s missiles and rockets stationed in Lebanon under the control of Hezbollah surrogates.
“If we do not see any progress on the political or economic track that convinces the Iranians to back down, one of the parties will use the military option,” a senior Israeli source said in Washington last week. Dragging out the negotiations indefinitely is not an option.
“Ahmadinejad speaks today like Hitler before taking power,” Olmert said. “So you see, we are dealing with a psychopath of the worst kind ? with an anti-Semite. God forbid that this man ever gets his hands on nuclear weapons, to carry out his threats.”
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