Anyone who thinks Iran’s regime is close to falling is engaging in wishful thinking, former IDF deputy chief-of-staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan said at a conference on Monday.

Speaking at the IDC’s International Institute for Counterterrorism conference in Herzliya – during a crucial period when he is on the short list as a candidate for the next IDF chief – Golan probably did not do himself any favors.

The former IDF deputy chief said that the Iranian nuclear threat should neither be exaggerated nor downplayed.

In contrast, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies have projected greater optimism about toppling Iran’s regime through a pressure campaign and have consistently referred to its nuclear potential as the greatest threat to the state.

Regarding other security issues, he said that anyone who thinks that precise intelligence and weaponry can achieve quick and easy victories in war and avoid any human suffering does not understand war.

He said that those strategies can help win wars, but that they have never won wars by themselves and will not do so in the future.
He added that no war is clean of human suffering.

Regarding cyber and new defense technologies, he warned that Israel must walk a delicate tightrope.

On one hand, the IDF cannot gamble too much of its time and investment on the wrong technologies. On the other hand, he said that the IDF should not be so overly conservative that it misses out on key technologies which will change the face of the future for defending the country.

Earlier at the conference, former Shin Bet (Israel security agency) director Yaakov Peri discussed two other major threats.

He said Hezbollah is Israel’s biggest security threat, but that the country could also see an unintentional war with Hamas because the situation is so volatile, tense and unresolved.

Peri also drew attention to both internal fights within Israel over the character of the country’s democracy and alienation of American Jewry as long-term threats.