Israeli PM names new national security adviser

Yaakov Amidror has served as head of military intelligence research division.

Updated: Mar 10, 2011, 13:38 PM IST

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named as his national security adviser on Wednesday an ex-general who has voiced doubts Iran can be stopped from building nuclear arms without the use of force.

Yaakov Amidror, who has served as the head of the military intelligence research division, is well known in Israel for his right-wing views and was widely seen as a controversial candidate for the influential post.

Speaking in Washington last December at a "countering the Iranian threat" forum at The Foundation for Defence of Democracies, which describes itself as a non-partisan policy institute, Amidror said Israel was not eager to strike Iran.

"It`s a last resort because the war that will emerge from this attack will be a dirty one, a long one and one that no one wants to be in," he said, expressing his hope that "someone will find another solution".

But Amidror said that while he believes "that attacking Iran is a very bad situation", allowing it to achieve nuclear capability would be worse.

"If you ask me ... what is my assessment, my assessment is it is almost impossible to stop Iran without military force, but we should not run to use it before we be sure 100 percent and more that there is no other alternative," he said in English.

Iran denies Israeli and Western allegations that it is enriching uranium to produce atomic arms.

During a US visit in November, Netanyahu publicly pressed Washington for a "credible threat of military action" against Iran if "if it doesn`t cease its race for a nuclear weapon". The Israeli leader said there was no sign economic sanctions were persuading Tehran to halt its nuclear programme.

Amidror, whose appointment was announced in a statement issued by the Prime Minister`s Office, will take over from Uzi Arad, a former Mossad agent known for his outspoken right-wing views.

Bureau Report