Ex-Mossad chief indicators Israel behind Iran nuclear assaults

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The outgoing chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service has supplied the closest acknowledgment but his nation was behind latest assaults concentrating on Iran’s nuclear program and a navy scientist.

The feedback by Yossi Cohen, talking to Israel’s Channel 12 investigative program “Uvda” in a phase aired Thursday evening, supplied a rare debriefing by the pinnacle of the sometimes secretive company in what seems to be the ultimate days of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule.

It additionally gave a transparent warning to different scientists in Iran’s nuclear program that they too may turn into targets for assassination whilst diplomats in Vienna attempt to negotiate phrases to attempt to salvage its atomic accord with world powers.

“If the scientist is keen to alter profession and won’t damage us anymore, than sure, generally we provide them” a method out, Cohen stated.

Among the many main assaults to focus on Iran, none have struck deeper than two explosions during the last 12 months at its Natanz nuclear facility. There, centrifuges enrich uranium from an underground corridor designed to guard them from airstrikes.

In July 2020, a mysterious explosion tore aside Natanz’s superior centrifuge meeting, which Iran later blamed on Israel. Then in April of this 12 months, one other blast tore aside one in all its underground enrichment halls.

Requested about Natanz, the interviewer requested Cohen the place he’d take them if they might journey there, he stated “to the cellar” the place “the centrifuges used to spin.”


“It would not appear to be it used to look,” he added.

Cohen didn’t straight declare the assaults, however his specificity supplied the closest acknowledgement but of an Israeli hand within the assaults. The interviewer, journalist Ilan Dayan, additionally seemingly supplied an in depth description of how Israel snuck the explosives into Natanz’s underground halls that went unchallenged by Cohen.

“The person who was accountable for these explosions, it turns into clear, made certain to provide to the Iranians the marble basis on which the centrifuges are positioned,” Dayan stated. “As they set up this desk inside the Natanz facility, they don’t know that it already contains an infinite quantity of explosives.”

He additionally introduced up the November killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist who started Tehran’s navy nuclear program many years in the past. U.S. intelligence companies and the Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company imagine Iran deserted that organized effort at looking for a nuclear weapon in 2003. Iran lengthy has maintained its program is peaceable.

Whereas Cohen on digital camera would not declare the killing, Dayan within the phase described Cohen as having “personally signed off on your complete marketing campaign.”

Cohen described an Israeli effort to dissuade Iranian scientists from participating in this system, which had seen some deserted their work after being warned, even oblique, by Israel. Requested by the interviewer if the scientists understood the implications of in the event that they did not, Cohen stated: “They see their associates.”


Iran has repeatedly complained about Israel’s assaults, with Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi warning as just lately as Thursday that the incidents “not solely might be responded decisively, but additionally actually depart no choice for Iran however to rethink its transparency measures and cooperation coverage.”

Iran’s mission to the United Nations didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark over the feedback by Cohen, who was changed by former operative David Barnea.


Related Press author Karin Laub in Amman, Jordan, contributed to this report.


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