The Islamic Republic and terror as one and the same, says Israel’s Mossad Intelligence Agency Director David Barnea.
By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner
“Terrorism is a permanent and inseparable part of the Iranian threat and the security challenges that Iran poses to many countries around the world,” said the Mossad director in an address to an annual conference of the Institute for Counter Terrorism at Reichmann University, underscoring that, “Terrorism is a cornerstone of the worldview of the Ayatollah regime since it came to power in 1979 until today.”
Saying that the Ayatollah regime “bases its rule on intimidation and violence and advocates the use of violence as a legitimate method,” Director Barnea said there is no doubt that this “state terrorism” is carried out by the “express order of the leader, with the approval of the regime and its financing,” executed by the executive arms of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Unit 840 of the Quds Force, Masham intelligence organization and the Intelligence Ministry. “These are not random actions or spontaneous initiatives by local agents who are unharnessed, this is planned and systematic state terrorism, this is strategic terrorism,” he said.
The Mossad Director further asserted that Iran effectively utilizes terror as a complementary method to its diplomatic endeavors, saying, “terrorism is used to upset the regional balance of power, to deter neighbors, to undermine their sovereignty and in particular to deter those who seek to be friendly with the State of Israel. On the international level, terrorism is used by Iran as an alternative to diplomacy and as complementary to it. It is used every day against countries and against citizens of different nationalities for the purposes of political extortion as a bargaining chip.”
Barnea went on to stress that unless Iran is held accountable for its actions, it will persist with its terror-related activities unhindered.
“The artificial separation that serves them will continue to exist as long as the world allows them to act this way. When they are not held accountable for the acts of terrorism in the sternest manner, they regard it as gaining the green light to persist with global terrorism. Talking to Americans and trying to kill Americans on American soil simultaneously,” he said.
The Mossad chief went on to highlight Israel’s ongoing campaign to prevent revival of Iran’s 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with world powers, counter to the common belief by the United States, France, United Kingdom and Germany that such a deal is the best way to obstruct the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions.
“The agreement, in its format today, is based on Iranian lies without reason for doubt that were proven by the archives that were extracted from Tehran. Iran aspired to develop nuclear weapons which threatens our existence, here – and it remains committed to this. The way for it to realize its aspiration passes through an agreement that will enable them to easily attain (nuclear weapons) with international legitimacy,” he said, stressing that, “Iran must cease its deception of many years and the world must demand the truth and not enable the (International Atomic Energy Agency) probes to close in exchange for an agreement. The world must demand that (Iran’s) nuclear program “for peace purposes” as they dub it, will be upheld incessantly for many years and without an expiration date after which a deal (could) change its aim. This is one of the greatest dangers of the agreement.”
Barnea further noted his working trip to Washington last week, where he presented senior officials of the administration of President Joe Biden and lawmakers with a long list of ramifications that would undoubtedly be realized if the JCPOA – in its current form – would be adopted.
“Upon signing, an agreement with the terror regime will grant it $6 billion immediately and, in addition, the deal will generate to the Iranian treasury about $90 billion in its first year, and many additional tens of billions every subsequent year i.e. an addition of 25% to its GDP, immediately. There is no other country in the world that will get near to such significant growth of its GDP.”
The Mossad Director further utilized the opportunity to emphasize that regardless of any deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran – Israel’s renowned intelligence agency will hold Iran accountable for its actions.
“It is important for me to emphasize that we are not taking part in the game of shutting eyes. We do not divert our eyes from the proven truth. We merely rely on facts. We are acquainted with the Iranian vision and see its realization in practice and therefore even if an agreement is signed it would not grant (Iran) immunity from the Mossad’s activities,” he said.
Leveling a clear warning to the Islamic Republic, Director Barnea said, “Iran’s top brass must be aware that utilizing force against Israel or Israelis, either directly from Iran or via its proxies, will be met by a painful response against the responsible actors on Iranian soil. We will not pursue the proxy; we will hunt those responsible for sending the proxy, those who armed them, those who ordered them, and it (Mossad’s retribution) will happen in Tehran, Kermanshah and Isfahan.”