Former Mossad Chief, Efraim Halevy

Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon at the 2012 Herzliya Conference: Iran developing 10 000 kilometer nuclear capability

The Middle East’s leading security & policy gathering concludes today at the IDC Herzliya Campus

Speaking on the last day of the 2012 Herzliya Conference, during a session entitled „The Ticking Clock: Dissuading and Containing Iran’s Strategic Ambitions,” Efraim Halevy, former head of the Mossad, identified Syria as being „at the helm” of the current Middle East situation saying „If there Is a change in Syria, this will have wide international ramifications… The future of what happens in Damascus will impact all of the Middle East.”


Looking to Iran, Halevy said that „The countries of the world and to some extent Israel,” make the mistake of seeing „Iran as a problem of Iran and Syria as a problem of Syria” where what the world should be worrying about is Iran’s presence in Syria and whether this would continue. „We should have a main interest in ensuring that the Iranian interest is booted out of Syria,” he said, adding that the world should „Look at Syria and see it as the Achilles heel of Iran” and as an „enormous opportunity.”


Halevy was definitive, „in facing Iran, like facing any other threat, we should look at where there is vulnerability and where can we gain maximum effects… not only regionally but internationally.” He criticized those who had been saying that the sanctions against Iran had been ineffective as, he said, if you asked the people on the streets of Iran, they would attest to its effectiveness. In addition, „it caused the Iranians to do what they swore they would never do” and put the nuclear issue on the discourse of the world.


Questioning whether things were moving fast enough with regard to action against Iran, Halevy responded, „they never move fast enough.” However, he added „we’re not doing all that bad… we need to look at the sunnyside of the situation.”


He added that Israel and the world should „avoid self victimization. We’re not victims. We should talk like a power, we should act like a power and we should gain results like a power.”


All of the proceedings are broadcast live with a VOD option on the Conference’s website:


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