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Iranian response to an Israeli attack would be 'devastating': former spy chief

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Al-Arabiya

An Israeli attack on Iran would lead to a missile attack on Tel Aviv that would have a "devastating impact" on the ability of Israelis to continue their daily lives, a former Israeli intelligence expert said on Monday.

The attack will start a regional war, Meir Dagan, former head of Israel's spy agency Mossad, was quoted as saying by the Haaretz daily.

Dagan said that Iran doesn't have only four nuclear sites, but it has "dozens" of them. He seemed quite skeptic over the effectiveness of an Israeli attack on Iran, saying that no military attack could halt the Iranian nuclear project. "The attack could only delay it," he said.

When asked about a possible Iranian response to an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program, he said: "I think that Israel will be in a very serious situation for quite a time."

Dagan said that instead of a military strike on Iran's nuclear capabilities, the West could work on changing the Iranian regime instead.

"It's our duty to help anyone who likes to present an open opposition against their regime in Iran," Dagan was quoted by Haaretz as saying in an interview that aired on Sunday on CBS's 60 Minutes.

The former top intelligence official refused to answer when he was asked whether Israel had supported the youth groups that held protests across Iran after the last round of Iranian elections.

"The issue of Iran armed with a nuclear capability is not an Israeli problem; it's an international problem," Dagan said.

He referred to President Barack Obama's famous "options on the table" statement, underlining that Washington is not going to let Iran become a nuclear state. He expressed his wish that in case of striking Iran, he preferred that "Americans will do it" not Israel.

(Written by Abeer Tayel)

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