Tamir Pardo
Allegiance 22x20px Israel
Service 30px Israel Defense Forces
30px Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations Mossad
Active 1971-present
Operation(s) Operation Entebbe

Born 1953
Nationality Israeli
Alma mater Tel Aviv University

Aluf Tamir Pardo (Hebrew: תמיר פרדו; born 1953) is the current Director of the Mossad, taking over the role from Meir Dagan on 1 January 2011. The appointment was announced by Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on November 29, 2010.[1]

Pre-Mossad leadership[edit | edit source]

Pardo served in the Israel Defense Forces as a communication officer in the elite special forces unit Sayeret Matkal. He was a member of the unit under the command of Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu and participated in Operation Entebbe. Netanyahu, older brother to current Israeli prime minister Netanyahu, was killed during the operation.

After completing his compulsory service with the Israeli army, Pardo joined the Mossad and served in entry-level technical positions. He rose through the ranks and eventually became head of the "Keshet" department, responsible for operations, including obtaining electronic intelligence through wiretaps and photographic methods. In 2005, he was in line for promotion to the organization's number 2 position, when another individual was given the job. Mossad chief Meir Dagan thereupon lent Pardo to the IDF, where he served as a senior advisor for operations to the Israeli General Staff. He served in this position during the 2006 Lebanon War. After Dagan fired his number 2, he invited Pardo to return to the Mossad and assume the role. Pardo did so in the belief that when Dagan retired, he would be offered the job. However, Dagan's term was extended and he didn't retire when expected. This led Pardo to leave the Mossad, whereupon he went into private business with Israeli Internet gambling entrepreneur Noam Lanir.

Mossad leadership[edit | edit source]

Israeli media reported that Netanyahu's first candidate for the role of Mossad chief, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries's CEO, retired Major General Shlomo Yanai, was offered the job but turned it down. Of several other candidates, Pardo was the only one to have served in the Mossad. His choice may reflect a wish on the part of Prime Minister Netanyahu to signal continuity by choosing a candidate from within the ranks.[2]

It was anticipated that Pardo would continue the work of his predecessor, Mossad director Meir Dagan, in attempting to thwart any attempts by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to build a nuclear weapon.[3]

On August 2, 2011, German news website Spiegel Online published an article named "Mossad Behind Tehran Assassinations, Says Source", claiming receiving information from "an Israeli intelligence source", linking Mossad under Tamir Pardo as its chief to the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Darioush Rezaeinejad in Tehran on July 23. 2011.[4] The report was reprinted by several news agencies, yet without providing additional sources to confirm the information.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

Secrecy[edit | edit source]

Israel has a custom of secrecy regarding the identity of intelligence officers (aside from Mossad chief, also only in recent years) and Pardo was known as "T." until his promotion was made official.[11] Haaretz, in an editorial after the appointment was announced, wrote:

It [Mossad] answers exclusively to the prime minister, and the identity of its head only became public after his appointment. This does not allow for sufficient public oversight - neither on the process of the appointment, nor on his performance..[12]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Melman, Yossi (November 29, 2010). "Who is new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo?". Haaretz. http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/who-is-new-mossad-chief-tamir-pardo-1.327699. 
  2. Melman, Yossi (November 29, 2010). "ראש המוסד הבא תמיר פרדו - מהתפקיד הזוטר ביותר עד לצמרת הארגון" (in Hebrew"). Haaretz. http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1201169.html. 
  3. Gross, Tom (December 12, 2010). "Egypt claims Mossad to blame for shark attacks (& details of new Mossad head)". Tom Gross Media. http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001155.html. 
  4. Ulrike Putz, "Mossad Behind Tehran Assassinations, Says Source", Spiegel Online, August 2, 2011.
  5. "'Mossad shot dead' Iranian scientist". (AFP). The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 August 2011.
  6. "Israel behind Iran academic hit: Spiegel". 1 August 2011.
  7. "Mossad behind murder of Iranian scientist". Middle East Online. 2 August 2011.
  8. "Der Spiegel: Israel killed Iranian". UPI. 2 August 2011.
  9. "Israel's Mossad behind killing of Iranian scientist: report". IBN Live. 2 August 2011.
  10. "Israel's new Mossad chief behind assassination of Iran nuclear scientist". Haaretz. 2 August 2011.
  11. Oren, Amir (June 25, 2007). "Mossad deputy chief N. quits after spat with boss Dagan". Haaretz. http://www.haaretz.com/news/mossad-deputy-chief-n-quits-after-spat-with-boss-dagan-1.223953. 
  12. "Watching the watchers: Who monitors the Mossad?". Haaretz. December 1, 2010. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/watching-the-watchers-who-monitors-the-mossad-1.328147. 

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