Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nominated veteran Mossad official Tamir Pardo to head the spy agency, his office said in a statement sent by text message.
Pardo, currently deputy director of the Mossad, has also held other senior positions in the agency, experience that will serve him well in facing complex future challenges, Netanyahu’s office said. The nominee is “a responsible professional with the richest operational experience possible,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.
The new Mossad chief, whose appointment must be approved by a government committee, will face what Israel sees as a growing threat from Iran’s nuclear program and continued fallout from a Dubai police accusation that it was behind the January murder of a Hamas leader. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that there is no evidence linking Israel to the death.
Netanyahu said earlier this month that Iran’s nuclear program is a risk to the entire world and stopping it requires persuading the regime in Tehran that “all options” are on the table.
The current Mossad director, Meir Dagan, was appointed by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in September 2002, according to the prime minister’s website.