Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered an investigation into alleged leaks of plans to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to reports.
The main suspects for the leak are the former heads of Israel’s intelligence agencies the Mossad and the Shin Bet, Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin respectively. Netanyahu purportedly suspects that the two former agents leaked the information in an attempt to thwart an effort by him and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to push for a unilateral, preemptive attack on Iran.
Top Israeli officials familiar with the situation say that Netanyahu is and has been redoubling his efforts to convince the rest of his cabinet to back an attack on Iran, and that he has finally won over hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to his side. On Wednesday, Israel test-fired a ballistics missile immediately after Netanyahu warned of a “direct and heavy threat” posed by Iran’s nuclear program.
If the reports about the Netanyahu administration’s suspicions are true and Dagan and Diskin did leak the information to prevent an attack, which had moved from the stage of discussion to implementation, it would certainly be consistent with previous statements from the two. Back in May, Netanyahu and Barak condemned Dagan for saying publicly that a strike on Iran would be “the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”
“It seems that only Netanyahu and Barak know, and maybe even they haven’t decided,” Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, both respected Haaretz writers told The Guardian. “While many people say Netanyahu and Barak are conducting sophisticated psychological warfare and don’t intend to launch a military operation, top officials … are still afraid.”