In regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, the argument of U.S. hawks has long been that the only way to really change the strategic calculations of the Iranian regime is to make them really, really scared that a U.S. or Israeli strike could happen.

Former Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan apparently disagrees. Speaking at a conference on Iran’s nuclear program and Israeli decision-making, Dagan said he believed the military option should "be on the table, but not as a first option," and warned:

The commotion surrounding the immediate alternative of an attack may lead the Iranians into a reality in which they are (pushed over the edge) and try to obtain nuclear capabilities as quickly as possible instead of treading rather carefully while taking the international community’s demands into consideration.

Don’t look now but I think Dagan, who made Iran his top priority during his tenure as head of the Mossad, is actually suggesting that the Iranians can respond to things other than threats of force, and moreover that such threats may serve only to convince them of the need for a nuclear deterrent. This should not be as difficult to grasp as it apparently is for some.

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