Netanyahu planned to bomb Iran, Peres revealed in interview

In this Oct. 14, 2013, file photo, Israel's President Shimon Peres, right, listens to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File Photo: AP/Ariel Schalit)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was planning to bomb Iran, Shimon Peres secretly told the editors of The Jerusalem Post over coffee two years ago.

In a startling revelation the former Israeli president, Shimon Peres, who died last week, made the revelation when asked by the then managing editor of the publication, David Brinn, what he considered the greatest achievement of his presidency was.

He responded: “I stopped Netanyahu from attacking Iran.”

When Steve Linde, the Post’s editor-in-chief at the time, who was also at the confidential meeting, pushed for more details, Peres responded: “I don’t want to go into details, but I can tell you that he was ready to launch an attack and I stopped him. I told him the consequences would be catastrophic.”

Linde went on to explain in his account of the meeting that took place on Aug. 24, 2014, that he then asked if he could report Peres’ words. But was simply told: “When I’m dead.”

According to Linde, the Nobel Peace Prize winner explained that Netanyahu had wanted to order a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear sites, but that he intervened to prevent it from happening.

The following year, during The Jerusalem Post Fourth Annual Conference in New York, Linde said that during a panel he moderated two members of the Israeli security forces were accused of refusing to follow an order issued by Netanyahu to ‘prepare for an attack against Iran’.

Jerusalem Post Senior Contributing Editor Caroline B. Glick confronted former IDF chief Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi and the late Mossad director Meir Dagan.

Glick said to the men that in 2010 “we learned that two of the gentlemen on this panel were given an order to prepare the military for an imminent strike against Iran’s military installations and they refused.”

Linde added in his account of the revelations that Dagan did not deny the claims, but rather insisted the order was ‘illegal’, adding: “We were always willing to obey any legal order by the prime minister. We never refused an order.”

But it later transpired that Peres stepped in, when he was president, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak pushed ahead with plans to attack Iran, Linde explained in The Jerusalem Post.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52