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World Ex-Mossad chief signals Israel behind Iran nuclear attacks

07:45  11 june  2021
07:45  11 june  2021 Source:   msn.com

Mossad Chief Stops Short of Confirming Israel Behind Iran Nuclear Attacks

  Mossad Chief Stops Short of Confirming Israel Behind Iran Nuclear Attacks "It doesn't look like it used to look," Yossi Cohen said of the cellar of Iran's nuclear Natanz facility.Two major explosions erupted at Iran's nuclear plant Natanz in July 2020 and most recently in April, Iran blamed Israel for the incidents. When Mossad's outgoing chief Yossi Cohen was asked by the interviewer where he would take them if they could travel to Iran's nuclear facility, Cohen said "to the cellar" where "the centrifuges used to spin.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The outgoing chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence service has offered the closest acknowledgment yet his country was behind recent attacks targeting Iran's nuclear program and a military scientist.

FILE - In this July 3, 2016, file photo, Yossi Cohen, then the director of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, attends the funeral in Jerusalem of a rabbi killed by Palestinian gunmen. Cohen, the outgoing chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence service, offered the closest acknowledgment yet his country was behind a series of recent attacks targeting Iran's nuclear program and a military scientist in a television interview aired Thursday, June 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this July 3, 2016, file photo, Yossi Cohen, then the director of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, attends the funeral in Jerusalem of a rabbi killed by Palestinian gunmen. Cohen, the outgoing chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence service, offered the closest acknowledgment yet his country was behind a series of recent attacks targeting Iran's nuclear program and a military scientist in a television interview aired Thursday, June 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

The comments by Yossi Cohen, speaking to Israel's Channel 12 investigative program “Uvda” in a segment aired Thursday night, offered an extraordinary debriefing by the head of the typically secretive agency in what appears to be the final days of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rule.

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It also gave a clear warning to other scientists in Iran's nuclear program that they too could become targets for assassination even as diplomats in Vienna try to negotiate terms to try to salvage its atomic accord with world powers.

“If the scientist is willing to change career and will not hurt us anymore, than yes, sometimes we offer them" a way out, Cohen said.

Among the major attacks to target Iran, none have struck deeper than two explosions over the last year at its Natanz nuclear facility. There, centrifuges enrich uranium from an underground hall designed to protect them from airstrikes.

In July 2020, a mysterious explosion tore apart Natanz's advanced centrifuge assembly, which Iran later blamed on Israel. Then in April of this year, another blast tore apart one of its underground enrichment halls.

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Asked about Natanz, the interviewer asked Cohen where he'd take them if they could travel there, he said “to the cellar" where “the centrifuges used to spin.”

“It doesn't look like it used to look,” he added.


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Cohen did not directly claim the attacks, but his specificity offered the closest acknowledgement yet of an Israeli hand in the attacks. The interviewer, journalist Ilan Dayan, also seemingly offered a detailed description in a voiceover of how Israel snuck the explosives into Natanz's underground halls.

“The man who was responsible for these explosions, it becomes clear, made sure to supply to the Iranians the marble foundation on which the centrifuges are placed,” Dayan said. "As they install this foundation within the Natanz facility, they have no idea that it already includes an enormous amount of explosives.”

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He also brought up the November killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist who began Tehran's military nuclear program decades ago. U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency believe Iran abandoned that organized effort at seeking a nuclear weapon in 2003. Iran long has maintained its program is peaceful.

While Cohen on camera doesn't claim the killing, Dayan in the segment described Cohen as having "personally signed off on the entire campaign.” Dayan also described how a remotely operated machine gun fixed to a pickup truck killed Fakhrizadeh and later self-destructed.

Cohen described an Israeli effort to dissuade Iranian scientists from taking part in the program, which had seen some abandoned their work after being warned, even indirectly, by Israel. Asked by the interviewer if the scientists understood the implications if they didn't stop, Cohen said: “They see their friends.”

Media in Israel operate under a decades-old policy that requires journalists to clear stories involving security matters through military censors. That Cohen's remarks apparently cleared the censors suggests Israel wanted to issue a new warning to Iran amid the Vienna nuclear negotiations.

Iran has repeatedly complained about Israel's attacks, with Iran's ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi warning as recently as Thursday that the incidents “not only will be responded decisively, but also certainly leave no option for Iran but to reconsider its transparency measures and cooperation policy.”

Iran's mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment over the comments by Cohen, who was replaced by former operative David Barnea. Cohen in the interview acknowledged he might one day seek the prime minister's office himself.

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Associated Press writer Karin Laub in Amman, Jordan, contributed to this report.

We must end the nuclear threat before it ends us .
Presidents Biden and Putin, in their June 16 meeting, must reaffirm their countries' commitment under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.Nuclear weapons pose an existential threat to all life on Earth. Working toward a world without nuclear weapons, in which vigorous international monitoring and enforcement mechanisms verify compliance, is not some utopian dream. It is, rather, a practical and moral necessity.

usr: 1
This is interesting!