Shabtai Shavit

TEL AVIV – President Obama’s “learning curve” regarding his policies toward Iran might buy Tehran enough time to produce nuclear weapons, Shabtai Shavit, former chief of the Mossad intelligence agency, warned in an exclusive WND interview today.

“I do know that Obama is taking a very long learning curve experience in order to reach a conclusion about whether his thinking of diplomacy with Iran was right or wrong. I am really worried there will be a heavy price for us,” Shavit said.

“Until Obama is convinced personally that his policies may not work and until he has undergone the whole experience, it may be too late,” said Shavit.

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Shavit served as director of the Mossad from 1989 through 1996.

Shavit spoke two days after the reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom the former Mossad chief referred to as “the most evil candidate.”

“(Candidate) Mir Hossein Mousavi comes from the same school of thought as Ahmadinejad, but people perceive him as much more moderate, someone who is ready to introduce reforms into the system,” Shavit said. “Ahmadinejad ran on a purely evil platform.”

Shavit told WND that if Obama is intent on pursuing talks, the diplomatic road to halting Iran’s nuclear program runs through Russia. Moscow has been cooperating with Tehran militarily and reportedly is supplying Iran with some of the infrastructure used to build the country’s nuclear facilities.

The former intelligence official believes, however, that Russia is talking out of both sides of its mouth.

“Consider the contradiction,” noted Shavit. “One the one hand, Russia and the U.S. are ready to start negotiations on a strategy of reducing nuclear capability on both sides and also with the rest of the nuclear powers in the world. On the other hand, Russia continues to supply Tehran the tools it needs to further Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

Ahmadinejad today warned any country that “dared” to attack Iran would “deeply regret” such a move.

“Who dares to attack Iran? Who even dares to think about it?” Ahmadinejad said at a news conference in response to a question.

Ahmadinejad added Iran’s nuclear issue “belongs in the past,” indicating there would be no change in nuclear policy during his second term in office. His statements were a blow to Obama’s call for direct diplomacy with Tehran regarding its nuclear projects.

Also today, amid rising tensions and street clashes, Mousavi formally appealed to the country’s parliament against the election results after his supporters had claimed Ahmadinejad’s election victory was a “dangerous charade.”

“Today, I have submitted my official formal request to the council to cancel the election result,” Mousavi said in the statement. “I urge you, Iranian nation, to continue your nationwide protests in a peaceful and legal way.”

Scores of Mousavi supporters gathered in Tehran’s center, where some demonstrators reportedly threw stones at police.

Multiple reports claimed Mousavi was either put in jail or was under house arrest amid fears he may lead mass protests. The candidate has not appeared publicly since Friday’s ballots. Other reports claimed over 100 top Mousavi reformists were arrested.

According to reports by Reuters and the Associated Press, the Iranian government temporarily halted all cell phone service yesterday, but restored service today, although Iranians could not send text messages.

Those same reports said Iran closed down opponent websites and filtered social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in an apparent bid to limit methods of planning protests.

Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, defended his re-election as “clean and healthy,” dismissing complaints by defeated candidates.

“They may be upset by their failure,” he said. “They spent lot of money to make propaganda [and] expected to win, so it is natural they are disappointed and upset.”

“The margin between my votes and the others is too much, and no one can question it,” he added.

 


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