A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mossad Chief: Iran Riots Will Die Down, And That's a Good Thing

Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, has told a Knesset committee that the riots in Iran will die down and there will be no revolution. What seems striking is why he seems to think that's a good thing for Israel:
"The reality in Iran is not going to change because of the elections. The world and we already know [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. If the reformist candidate [Mir Hossein] Mousavi had won, Israel would have had a more serious problem because it would need to explain to the world the danger of the Iranian threat, since Mousavi is perceived internationally arena as a moderate element...It is important to remember that he is the one who began Iran's nuclear program when he was prime minister."

Some Western neoconservatives also seem to want to see Ahmadinejad triumph because he's clearly seen as a Bad Thing while people might give Mousavi the benefit of the doubt. (Actually, Iran's nuclear quest began under the Shah, but yes, Mousavi presided over it at one time.)
Aluf Benn, Haaretz' astute defense correspondent, has a few words for those Israelis who are rooting for Ahmadinejad in "The Narrow Strategic Thinking of Pro-Ahmadinejad Israelis":
The prize for this week's most stupid remark has to go to the officials, officers and experts who described Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the candidate Israel prefers to win the election in Iran, and were even happy he did. It is hard to think of a more blatant manifestation of the narrow horizons of Israeli strategic thinking.

Agreed. But both Americans and Israelis who are investing a lot of themselves in all this need to remember: it isn't about us. Iranians are trying to work something out. It's their decision, not ours.

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