Ex-Mossad Chief Dagan On the Mend: Will He Go Back to Speaking Out on Iran Nuclear Threat?

Meir Dagan, who was director of the Mossad from 2002 through 2010, has been released from a hospital in Tel Aviv – where he was treated for weeks, following a liver transplant in Belarus.

Dagan says he is making progress, with doctors telling him that his condition is improving after a very rough time after the transplant which was necessitated by cancer.

The former Mossad chief made headlines as soon as he retired from his position, when he repeatedly made public declarations advising against an Israeli military strike on Iran.  “It would be the stupidest thing,” Dagan said.

He seemed to be hinting that there was a lot more that could be done clandestinely against Iran – including continuation of joint covert actions by Israeli and American intelligence agencies.  For instance, we wrote in our book Spies Against Armageddon that a technology unit of Israel’s military intelligence Aman worked with the U.S. National Security Agency to develop the Stuxnet worm – and other computer viruses – that caused damage to Iranian nuclear facilities.

In recent months, because of his severe illness, Dagan’s stream of public remarks stopped.  In addition, largely because of Israel’s national election on January 22, Israel’s government has said relatively little about the Iranian nuclear threat.

As for Dagan’s health prospects, we can report (without any intention of being insulting) that despite being a vegetarian for many years he is overweight.  The ex-spymaster is now receiving fitness advice from Colonel Avi Moyal, a former physical trainer for the Israeli military’s elite commando squad – Sayeret Matkal.

Question: If Dagan gets better, will we hear from him even more?  And will he keep counseling against an Israeli military strike?   After his reactions to saber-rattling by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior ministers in 2011 and 2012, it seemed sometimes that watching Dagan was a way of reading how serious Netanyahu might be in his warnings of possible action against Iran.

January 2, 2013

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