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Israel leaders misleading public on Iran: Ex-security chief

United Kingdom,Defence/Security, Sat, 28 Apr 2012 IANS

London, April 28 (IANS) The former chief of Israel's domestic intelligence agency has accused the country's leadership of "misleading" the public on the merits of a possible military strike on Iran, BBC reported.


Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin said an attack might speed up any attempt by Iran to obtain a nuclear bomb.


Iran denies it is making any nuclear arms.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak have repeatedly said Iran must be prevented from building nuclear weapons.


They have not ruled out military action to disrupt Tehran's nuclear programme.


Diskin, who stepped down as Shin Bet chief last year after six years in the job, said he had "no faith in the current leadership" of Netanyahu and Barak, the BBC said citing Israeli media reports.


"I don't believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings. They are misleading the public on the Iran issue. They tell the public that if Israel acts, Iran won't have a nuclear bomb. This is misleading. Actually, many experts say that an Israeli attack would accelerate the Iranian nuclear race," he said.


Israel's military chief has said he did not think Iran has yet decided to build nuclear weapons.


Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said he believed international sanctions against Iran were bearing fruit in dissuading it from taking such a decision.


Earlier, Meir Dagan, former head of Israel's foreign intelligence service Mossad, publicly opposed military action against Iran.


Dagan said an Israeli attack would have "devastating" consequences on his own country, and would not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.


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