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Report: Officials nixed Iran strike prep

Nov. 5, 2012 at 7:46 AM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Israeli military and Mossad leaders refused an order to prepare for a strike on Iran nuclear facilities, fearing a war would start, an investigation indicated.

In 2010, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave orders for the Israeli military to prepare for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, but a military leader and the head of the Mossad at the time indicated they thought Netanyahu and Barak were trying to "steal a war" so the order wasn't fully carried out, an investigation by Israeli Channel 2 indicated.

The investigation indicated former military Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and former Mossad leader Meir Dagan were against an order to raise the security alert level, with Dagan reportedly telling Netanyahu and Barak, "You are likely to make an illegal decision to go to war. Only the Cabinet is authorized to decide this."

Other officials said Ashkenazi was concerned that raising the alert level would "create new facts on the ground" and lead to war, the Channel 2 report indicated.

In an interview with Channel 2, Barak said Ashkenazi, in his response to Netanyahu at the time, said the military wasn't ready and he didn't have operational capacity to carry out the order.

"The things that you are describing," he told the television channel, "are the responsibility of the government" and that raising the security level alert didn't necessarily mean war would follow.

Dagan and Ashkenazi both have spoken against a possible strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, Haaretz said.

Last year, Dagan said such a strike would be "a stupid thing."

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