Photo by Assaf Shilo/Israel Sun 29-30/05/2012 Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan dies at the age of 71 after a long battle against cancer.  Dagan served as the Mossad chief from 2002-2011.  He was born in 1945, reportedly in a train somewhere between Poland and Russia, to two survivors. Ariel Sharon appointed Dagan in October 2002, telling him, the story goes, that he wanted “a Mossad with a knife between its teeth.” îàéø ãâï ðôèø áâéì 71

Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan dies at the age of 71 after a long battle against cancer. (Photo by Assaf Shilo/Israel Sun)

Meir Dagan, a former Israeli general and long-time director of its spy agency, has died at the age of 71.

Mr Dagan directed Mossad from 2002 to 2011. Under his leadership, the agency reportedly carried out covert attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists and unleashed cyber-attacks, including the Stuxnet virus which delayed the Iranian nuclear programme.

Photo by Assaf Shilo/Israel Sun 29-30/05/2012 Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan dies at the age of 71 after a long battle against cancer.  Dagan served as the Mossad chief from 2002-2011.  He was born in 1945, reportedly in a train somewhere between Poland and Russia, to two survivors. Ariel Sharon appointed Dagan in October 2002, telling him, the story goes, that he wanted “a Mossad with a knife between its teeth.” øàù äîåñã ìùòáø îàéø ãâï ðôèø áâéì 71

Photo by Assaf Shilo/Israel Sun 29-30/05/2012

After he stepped down, he was also a fierce opponent of a military strike in Iran. He openly criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to the recently implemented nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Born in 1945 in Ukraine to Holocaust survivors, Mr Dagan reached the rank of general in the Israeli army and was known for innovations in battling terrorism.

He is survived by his wife and three children.