Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 11:17 UK

Israel 'could kidnap Ahmadinejad'

Rafi Eitan in Jerusalem in April 2006
Mr Eitan said he was speaking in a personal capacity

An Israeli cabinet minister has suggested Israel could kidnap Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over threats he has made against the state.

Ex-secret agent Rafi Eitan was involved in the abduction of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960.

He told German magazine Der Spiegel that such operations were not completely a thing of the past.

The Iranian leader has made a number of threats against Israel - he recently predicted that it would soon disappear.

Mr Ahmadinejad has also quoted the view of the late Iranian spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khomenei, that Israel was a tumour that needed to be erased from history.

'All options open'

Mr Eitan, a member of Israel's inner cabinet of ministers with security responsibilities, said he was expressing his personal opinion in raising the abduction option.

The former Mossad agent said the Iranian leader had threatened genocide and should therefore be brought for trial to The Hague, seat of the international war crimes tribunal.

"And all options are open in terms of how he should be brought," he was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the Associated Press news agency.

Asked if kidnapping was acceptable, Mr Eitan replied: "Yes. Any way to bring him for trial in The Hague is a possibility."

Mr Eitan helped kidnap Eichmann from Argentina and brought him to Israel, where he was tried and executed for his part in Adolf Hitler's plan to wipe out European Jewry.

Mr Eitan later headed a defence ministry unit that recruited Jewish-American naval analyst Jonathan Pollard, who was jailed for life in the US after being caught spying for Israel in 1985.

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