Search AP News:
Mar 6, 4:00 PM EST

Former Israeli spy chief rejects parts of Netanyahu speech

World Video

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Iran's power structure
Iran's recent political history
Depth of Field: Covering the Iran elections
Protesters in Iran challenge police
Iran elections
Iran's protests: Then and now
Latest Iran News
Former Israeli spy chief rejects parts of Netanyahu speech

Iranian special operatives free diplomat abducted in Yemen

Claim of 'dirty money' in politics provokes uproar in Iran

Iran demands Pakistan extradite suspected Iranian militant

Reporter jailed in Iran gets lawyer after more than 7 months

AP Photo

Latest Iran Photos

Assault on Gaza: Mapping the attacks
Gaza assault takes its toll on children
A closer look at Hamas
Latest News
Former Israeli spy chief rejects parts of Netanyahu speech

Palestinian assailant wounds 5 Israelis in car attack

AP Interview: Charismatic Lapid revives Israel vote campaign

Netanyahu says he gave 'practical alternative' to Iran deal

Rise of pragmatic Arab politician shakes up Israeli politics

AP Photo

Conflict in the Middle East

Latest News
EU chief speaks out against arms supplies for Kiev

Kremlin critic Navalny released after 15 days in custody

Imprisoned Ukrainian ready to end hunger strike, lawyers say

NATO, Russia exchange barbs reminiscent of Cold War days

Russia launches military drills in the southwest

JERUSALEM (AP) -- A former chief of Israel's Mossad spy agency on Friday rejected claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his contentious address to Congress about Iran's nuclear program.

In an interview aired on Channel 2 TV, Meir Dagan questioned Netanyahu's claim that the deal under negotiation with world powers would allow Iran to create a nuclear weapon within a year or less.

"The time is longer than what he describes," Dagan said.

Dagan also rejected Netanyahu's assertion that Iran's intercontinental ballistic missile program could allow it to deliver a nuclear arsenal to "every part of the United States."

"The missiles cannot reach the U.S.," Dagan said. When asked if Netanyahu does not know that, Dagan replied: "He knows. So what?"

Channel 2 showed Dagan making the comments as he watched Netanyahu's televised speech to Congress.

When Netanyahu said that "the Jewish people can defend ourselves," Dagan said: "That is a threat of attack."

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, of Netanyahu's Likud Party, told Channel 2 that he rejected many of Dagan's assertions.

Dagan has been a fierce critic of Netanyahu's approach to Iran, emerging as a key opponent of a potential Israeli military attack against its nuclear facilities. He has said Netanyahu's trip to Washington, over White House objections, was pointless and counterproductive.

Dagan directed the Mossad from 2002 to 2010, a period when it reportedly carried out covert attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists and unleashed cyberattacks that delayed Iran's progression toward a bomb.

Last week, Dagan told an Israeli daily that "the person who has caused the greatest strategic damage to Israel on the Iranian issue is the prime minister."

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.