Speaking at a meeting of top Israeli ambassadors in Jerusalem, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo rejected the notion that Iran, even if they were nuclear armed, constituted an “existential threat,” saying the term is being used “too freely.”
“If you said a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands was an ‘existential’ threat, that would mean that we would have to close up shop. That’s not the situation,” Pardo insisted. The claim that such a situation would be an existential threat has been a common talking point among hawks in both Israel and the US.
Pardo is the latest in a growing line of Israeli intelligence officials who have been making comments unfavorable to the Netanyahu government’s pro-war stance. His predecessor, Meir Dagan, had cautioned openly against attacking Iran, warning it would lead to a “regional war.” The comments spawned angry condemnations from political leaders.
Of course the entire question of what a threat Iranian nuclear weapons would be is purely hypothetical, as the IAEA continues to confirm the non-diversion of nuclear material to any non-civilian purpose and Iranian leaders have rejected the notion of obtaining such a weapon on religious grounds.