TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH RAFI EITAN BY ESTI PEREZ ON RESHET BET, 7 NOVEMBER 2011
Recording of the original broadcast (in Hebrew): http://www.esnips.com/displayimage.php?pid=32975135
Introductory comments by Shraga Elam:
Update: on 7 November 2011 on the midday program of radio program on Reshet B (Network 2), Former minister Rafi Eitan “disclosed” some important “secrets”. For example he again “revealed” that Israel has no military option and that the State of Israel is crazy. The fact that he supports boycott and sanctions against Iran contradicts those facts that he has pointed out. That is: if his analysis is correct and the Ahmadinejad’s regime is on the verge of collapse, it is not clear exactly how sanctions will help it collapse. Here can be heard the words of Esti Perez:
EP: Former senior Mossad agent and minister, Rafi Eitan
RE: Shalom, good morning.
EP: Are you in a state of panic?
EP: You’re not in a state of panic?!
RE: No, I think I’m thinking similar things to what the Defence Minister has just said. To wit: Israel is a strong state, Israel has its forces, it has its defence forces, it has its offensive capability, and the inflammatory media coverage of this whole business that brings terror to every citizen is excessive!
EP: So we shouldn’t talk about it at all then?
RE: I didn’t say we shouldn’t talk about it, but not with panic. Ah, ah … it’s true, that in the modern era, in the modern media, with the Internet, with the social media, it’s impossible to stop public discussion of any subject. Impossible. And so it has to be open.
EP: Do you think that …
RE: I have to at the same time to explain, that the danger is not as expressed in the media.
EP: In any case, what kind of danger are we facing from Iran at present, and if we attack it …
RE: At the present stage, I do not see that we attack Iran [chuckles], number one; second, it looks to me like at the present stage, in the era of ten years from now, I do not see war between Iran and Israel.
EP: Ten years from now, is there a chance that they will by then be able to assemble a nuclear bomb, like they’re telling us now it’s only a matter of a few months?
RE: Look, Iran is facing a series of dilemmas: on the one hand, the Revolutionary Guards are in control of Iran (ruling Iran), and on the other hand, there is a conflict, which in my opinion will reach the level of violence point of violence, between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. That is to say, within the ruling circles, two parties have been created, if you want to put it in our terms, each of which has its own army. Each one has its own militia, and they appear to be on the verge of a confrontation. And then there’s the Iranian people, which is not one people, within Iran it’s not just the Persians, there are also Azeris, there are about thirty million Azeris. There are about five or seven million Kurds. All that, along with the eighty per cent – who do not support the regime – of the people, who want change, all that will lead to dramatic changes in Iran in the next ten years. So there’s no need for concern and fear. Let us see what we can do about this matter. True, we have to influence the whole world to impose heavy sanctions, and the heaviest possible, on Iran.
EP: So it could be that the media debate in the Israeli the Israeli public media debate, a debate that – by the way, Ehud Barak, who doesn’t like it, participates in it, because he too was interviewed and talks about it, could it be that this debate, there is interest, that the nations of the world, will see how much we want them to hold us back that they will intervene and impose sanctions?
RE: Definitely, yes, definitely, and both in the public debate, and also by statements, and testimonies that have been disclosed about Israel’s actions on this matter, there is, “hold us back [chuckle], otherwise we’ll go crazy.”
EP: And you’re joking. Why? Is there a need to hold us back or we will go crazy? Or is it just to impress the world?
RE: We are a nation that created a state out of nothing. We are a people that, ah, in the course of seventy, eighty years, created a have created a network that is that is without precedent in the world.
EP: So in short we are crazy!
RE: Only a crazy people such a crazy people could have done it!
EP: Now, seriously, we’ve been joking enough, once again, seriously. The IAEA is going to publish its official report, already there have been many leaks to various newspapers, very reliable ones, there are those who are waiting for the official words, but it is already understood from everything that is known from the IAEA inspectors and for sure they do not know everything, that Iran is quite close, that it has everything it needs to assemble a nuclear bomb, and, listen, maybe Israel shouldn’t wait for the United States and all the other chatterers from Europe, what do they care, and do something, like what we did in Iraq, what we did in other places where it was necessary.
RE: Look, when I was a minister …
RE: Look, when I was a minister, in 2006 on 19 May 2006, you can find it on the Internet,
EP: What, five years ago?
RE: Five years ago, I gave a lecture, in one of the commercial clubs, I don’t remember exactly which one, and I said that Israel has no military option to attack Iran. I think about this, I said it five years ago, and I think that is true today as well. I don’t want to go into details, I will not go into details, but that is my opinion.
EP: Don’t go into details, but explain to me, the meaning of that … sentence.
RE: [chuckles] Ah, ah [chuckle] without going into details, everyone can interpret this or explain it to themselves. It is permitted in the public discourse, for people to people like me to state their opinions; but they are forbidden to go into details, because then they are disclosing secret information …
EP: But in my opinion, Rafi Eitan, if Yuval Steinitz, the Finance Minister, were to hear you listen to you,
EP: He would demand that you be investigated right away and maybe even put you on trial, and you’ll be investigated by the Israel Security Agency [Shin Bet], because it may very well be that what you have said just now is even worse than what Meir Dagan said!
RE: I have no problem with this business, about what I said on 19 May 2006.
EP: And, still I ask you, that experts like yourself are permitted to express their opinions with other hints like that regarding our capacity, or, as others think, that it is forbidden, and that there should be investigations into the leaks, the use of materials that are forbidden to be disclosed,
RE: Yes, since I, ah, ah reached an age over 80, and since it seems to me that they have never suspected me of leaking, I am very careful about what I am permitted to say and what is forbidden for me to say. What I have said just now I am permitted to say, it is [chuckle] in accordance with the law – beyond that, thank you!
EP: And that’s why you think that it’s pointless, the idea of investigating people at all who have just stated their opinions?
RE: Definitely. I think that it is not logical to investigate people who are stating their opinions.
EP: I want to ask you, Rafi Eitan. Really, we are hearing from a lot of people who do not understand, and you understand, and it is important to hear what you say: if we really know that Iran is only a few months away from a nuclear bomb, what is the most correct thing for Israel to do?
RE: To try to create a situation in which the entire world will impose on Iran sanctions that Iran will not be able to withstand.
EP: Economic? Political? Others?
RE: Yes, that can be done.
PE: Rafi Eitan, former senior Mossad agent, former minister, and maybe a future minister as well, thank you!
RE: Thank you.
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Transcript and translation into English by George Malent