Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed that he informed U.S. President Donald Trump in advance of what Israel has described as a spy mission in Tehran last year to capture a secret Iranian nuclear archive.
In April 2018, Netanyahu announced that Mossad operatives had spirited thousands of hidden documents out of Tehran that proved the Islamic Republic had previously pursued atomic weapons. Trump cited the Israeli findings in his decision, a month later, to quit the 2015 deal that had scaled down Iran’s nuclear project.
During a ceremony this week at which the intelligence agents credited with carrying out the top secret mission were awarded Israel’s National Security Prize, Netanyahu said he had discussed the planned operation with Trump when they met at the Davos forum in January 2018. He also disclosed that after being presented with the most critical findings at a later meeting in the White House, Trump “voiced his appreciation for [Israel’s] boldness.”
While the Mossad has acknowledged that the Tehran mission took place in February 2018, it has never provided specific details on how the documents were brought out to Israel. Mossad Director Joseph (Yossi) Cohen told an international security forum this week that six officers – four men and two women – were recipients of the security prize for leading the mission, which he said also involved “hundreds” of additional agents.
With the United States having reimposed sanctions on Iran, tensions have been soaring in the Gulf in recent weeks.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has vowed that the Islamic Republic will boost its uranium enrichment after July 7 to whatever levels it needs beyond the 3.67% cap set in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, which would enable the Arak nuclear reactor to resume its previous activities. Rouhani stated this latest step comes in response to the failure of Iran’s European partners to fulfill economic benefits guaranteed by the pact – that would in essence circumvent reimposed U.S. sanctions.
U.S. President Donald Trump reacted with an ominous tweet, reading “Iran has just issued a New Warning. Rouhani says that they will Enrich Uranium to “any amount we want” if there is no new Nuclear Deal. Be careful with threats, Iran. They can come back to bit you like nobody has been bitten before!” Earlier this week, Trump warned that Iran is “playing with fire,” following the Ayatollah Regime’s declaration that it had exceeded the 300 kg. stockpile of low-enriched uranium permitted under the accord.
European co-signatories say they are “extremely concerned” by Tehran’s apparent breach of the deal, while Israel announced it has begun preparation for possible involvement in any military confrontation between Iran and the United States.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the violation of Iran’s “explicit commitment” as “a significant step toward producing nuclear weapons.” After reiterating Jerusalem’s vow to prevent Tehran from acquiring atomic bombs, Netanyahu called on all European countries “to stand behind their commitments” to take action against Iranian violations of the 2015 deal by activating a mechanism for automatic sanctions set by the United Nations Security Council.