Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan has been asked to forgo his diplomatic passport, and Channel 2 reported on Sunday that the move comes as a response to Dagan’s recent comments in which he publicly criticized the government’s stance on Iran.
Dagan has asked to use his diplomatic passport for several trips he was planning in the coming weeks, however government officials denied his request and Dagan was asked to return the passport.
The prime minister’s office issued a statement in response to the Channel 2 report, claiming that the Foreign Ministry allowed Dagan to keep his diplomatic passport for the trips he had requested and only return it when he was done.
“A diplomatic passport is given to officials in order to aid them in their jobs. According to the rulers, when those people are no longer assuming those positions, they are asked to return the diplomatic passport,” the statement said.
According to the Channel 2 report, the move is unusual because normally people with diplomatic passports hold on to them until they expire, even if they are no longer assuming government positions.
In recent weeks Dagan has attacked Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in several public forums, claiming the Israeli leadership has been acting irresponsibly when it came to Iran.
Moreover, senior associates of Netanyahu accused Dagan of involvement in a political plot to topple Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s associates and advisers in the prime minister’s bureau said Dagan had acted without “national responsibility” when he warned against an Israeli attack on Iran. They accused Dagan of perpetrating “sabotage against democratic institutions in Israel.