Jerusalem: The head of Israel's intelligence
service, Tamir Pardo, is in Washington for talks about a possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations, Israeli media
The visit by the Mossad chief, which would usually be
conducted in secret, was accidentally revealed by US Senate
Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein at a
committee hearing, Israel's Channel Two TV station reported
The hearing was broadcast live by US television.
Feinstein said she had spoken with Pardo, who also met
the CIA director David Petraeus, Channel Two said, adding that
the Mossad chief had mentioned the possibility of unilateral
Israeli action against Iran.
Israeli officials have sent conflicting messages about
the option of pre-emptive military strikes on Iran's nuclear
President Shimon Peres on Tuesday reaffirmed that "no
option should be excluded against the programme of Iran, which
seeks to acquire weapons of mass destruction."
"The regime of the ayatollahs is the most corrupt in the
world, from a moral point of view," Peres told a conference in
Herzliya, near Tel Aviv.
The United States and other Western governments accuse
Iran of seeking an atomic weapons capability, something Tehran
has always denied.
Israeli leaders fear a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an
existential threat to the Jewish state, which has the Middle
East's sole if undeclared nuclear arsenal.
Earlier this month, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, accused the CIA and the Mossad of being behind the
assassination of one of its top nuclear scientists, who was
killed by a magnetic bomb fixed to his car in Tehran.
Three other scientists, two of them involved in Iran's
nuclear programme, have been murdered in similar circumstances
over the past two years, with Israel widely seen as the prime
Some Israeli media reported in October last year that the
option of pre-emptive air strikes on Iran was opposed by the
country's intelligence services but favoured by Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
First Published: Wednesday, February 01, 2012, 09:50