Ex-Mossad chief enlists international intelligence experts in new effort to ward off attack on Iran

Meir Dagan co-authors a Wall Street Journal article calling for a ‘decisive economic blow’ that will halt Tehran’s nuke effort

The late Mossad chief Meir Dagan (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
The late Mossad chief Meir Dagan (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan claimed Thursday that truly robust international sanctions would isolate Iran and bring to a halt in its drive to produce nuclear weapons.

In an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal, Dagan and his co-authors — former head of the CIA James Woolsey, German intelligence chief August Hanning, former chief of the United Kingdom’s defense staff General Charles Guthrie and American diplomats Kristen Silverberg and Mark D. Wallace — wrote that before going down the military road, the international community should strike a “decisive economic blow” against Tehran, that could make a military attack unnecessary.

“Our near future carries the risk of a military conflict with Iran, or a nuclear arms race in the already-volatile Middle East,” wrote Dagan and his co authors, arguing that “It is still in Iran’s interest to change course.”

“It’s common sense that before undertaking military action against a country, we should first try to dissuade it from its current course by applying decisive economic pressure. Doing so will show the regime that the world is serious and committed, willing to do whatever it takes to stop Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons,” they wrote.

The article was published shortly after a UN report which found that international sanctions were indeed taking their toll on the Iranian economy and Tehran’s ability to procure equipment needed for weapons manufacture. The authors wrote that the plummeting Iranian currency was evidence of the potential success of sanctions.

Dagan and his colleagues laid out four steps that the international community needs to carry out to further isolate Iran, including: fully severing Iran from the international financial system, cutting its commercial ties by forcing companies to disclose all dealings with the Islamic republic, denying it access to international shipping, and prohibiting insurance companies working with Iran from operating in the US and the EU.

“History has made clear that the regime will never change course due to half-measures; only serious steps like we’ve outlined have a chance of success. With Iran finally feeling real impact from international sanctions, now is the time to increase the pressure,” they wrote.

Dagan has been campaigning against an Israel military attack since he left office more than a year ago.

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