Israeli General Eyes Regime Change, Assassination in Iran

In an interview, former Israeli military chief and potential future Defense Minister General Moshe Ya’alon says that the Iranian revolution must be confronted “immediately,” and suggests some rather extreme measures which this confrontation might involve.

Firstly an Israeli attack, in the general’s estimation, should not begin and end with striking Iran’s civilian nuclear power plant, presently being constructed by Russia. Rather, Gen. Ya’alon envisions follow-up to “prevent the regime from rehabilitating itself”, and ultimately, regime change. Beyond that, Gen. Ya’alon also proposes assassinating Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, though his aides later insisted that was taken “out of context.”

Rather than sewing discontent across the Middle East, Gen. Ya’alon envisions toppling the Shi’ite regime as a welcome move to Israel’s Sunni neighbors, saying the Shi’ite-Sunni schism is much more important to those nations than the Arab-Israeli conflict is.

Beyond that, Gen. Ya’alon hit out at territorial concessions, and chided the United States for attacking Iraq instead of Iran. On the later topic, Ya’alon lamented “unfortunately, the American public didn’t have the political stomach to go into Iran.” Whatever else one may say about Ya’alon, let it never be said that he lacks the political stomach to start enormous regional wars affecting the lives of potentially hundreds of millions of people. Whether this almost impossible level of bellicosity is a sign of what the ever-hawkish front-runner Likud Party would offer with its next government remains to be seen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of