A former head of the Israel Defense Forces military intelligence said that his country lacks the international “legitimacy” needed to succeed in an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.
The timing for an Israeli strike “is not now since, even if it is successful, it will ruin the legitimacy that is needed,” Aharon Ze’evi Frakash told The Jerusalem Post.
Farkash served as the IDF’s head of military intelligence from 2001-2006.
Iranians President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel should be “wiped off” the map. The Iranians have said that their nuclear installations are for civilian power uses, but continue to refuse to allow international inspections of the sites.
“If Israel attacks, we will find ourselves being asked why we attacked when the world was imposing tough economic sanctions and was paying for this and was hurting as a result,” Farkash told the newspaper.
He reportedly added that an Israeli attack would turn into an “operation with more attacks within weeks, months and years after” the initial strike. “This means that Israel will need legitimacy to be able to maintain” the operation.
This was “the key to success or failure,” he is quoted as saying.
He also told the newspaper that Israel is unlikely to attack Iran before the U.S. presidential election on November 6.
What is needed, he told The Post, is to make the Islamic regime feel as if it is facing an “existential threat.” That can be attained, he is quoted as saying, in part by showing that a military threat is real by having Washington send four aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf, and having Israel hold civil defense exercises and long-range air force drills.