An Israeli Cabinet minister and one-time spy who helped kidnap Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann and bring him to trial said Tuesday the same tactic could be used on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad is feared and reviled in Israel because of his repeated calls to wipe the Jewish state off the map. His aggressive pursuit of nuclear technology has only fueled Israel's fears.
"A man like Ahmadinejad who threatens genocide has to be brought for trial in The Hague," said Rafi Eitan, referring to the international war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands. "And all options are open in terms of how he should be brought."
Asked if kidnapping was acceptable, Eitan replied; "Yes. Any way to bring him for trial in The Hague is a possibility."
Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazee sent a letter of protest Tuesday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over Eitan's comments and other threats by Israeli officials to use force against Iran.
"While the Islamic Republic of Iran has never threatened other nations," he said, it "would not hesitate to act in self-defense to respond to any attack against the Iranian nation and to take appropriate defensive measures to protect itself, its people and its officials."
Eitan, a member of Israel's inner Cabinet of ministers with security responsibilities, said he was expressing his own opinion and nothing more.
Eitan, 81, was one of the Mossad agents who kidnapped Eichmann from Argentina in 1960 and brought him to Israel. Eichmann was tried and executed for carrying out Adolf Hitler's "final solution" to kill European Jewry.
Eitan later headed a shadowy Defense Ministry unit that recruited Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish-American naval analyst who was caught spying for Israel in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison. The affair was one of the most damaging episodes in Israel-U.S. relations.