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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

May 4, 2018  RSS feed
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Report: Mossad grabbed Iranian nuke docs in one night’s work

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows where the thousands of secret documents and CDs on Iran’s nuclear program were stored, which were smuggled out by Israel agents.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows where the thousands of secret documents
and CDs on Iran’s nuclear program were stored, which were smuggled out by Israel agents.Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows where the thousands of secret documents and CDs on Iran’s nuclear program were stored, which were smuggled out by Israel agents.Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90(JTA) – Israel’s Mossad intelligence service broke into the anonymous Tehran building that housed Iran’s secret nuclear files and smuggled half a ton of documents and compact discs back to Israel the same night.

The Mossad discovered the warehouse in February 2016 and since then kept the building under surveillance, according to The New York Times, quoting a senior Israeli official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Mossad operatives broke into the building in January, took the original documents and returned to Israel the same night, the official told the Times.

In his nationally televised speech on April 30, broadcast first in English to reach the widest possible audience, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the hiding place of the documents.

“This is where they kept the atomic archives. Right here. Few Iranians knew where it was, very few, and also a few Israelis,” the Israeli leader said. “Now, from the outside, this was an innocent looking compound. It looks like a dilapidated warehouse. But from the inside, it contained Iran’s secret atomic archives locked in massive files,” he said.

On stage with Netanyahu were shelves of binders and a moveable wall of CDs.

“And here’s what we got. Fifty five thousand pages. Another 55,000 files on 183 CDs. Everything you’re about to see is an exact copy of the original Iranian material,” he said, adding: “You may want to know where are the originals? Well, I can say they’re now in a very safe place.”

The unnamed official told the newspaper that President Donald Trump was told of the operation to retrieve the documents by Mossad Director Yossi Cohen when he visited Washington, D.C., in January.

The material was not unveiled until now because the documents had to be analyzed and translated from Persian, the official said.

Netanyahu said during his presentation that the information had been shared with the United States and that “the United States can vouch for its authenticity.”

Among the documents, Netanyahu said, is proof of the existence of Project Amad, a program to design, build and test nuclear weapons. The program was scrapped in 2003 after the Gulf War, but work continued in other guises and with the same personnel, according to Netanyahu, citing the documents.

Other documents also proved that the Fordow uranium enrichment facility was not intended to produce medical isotopes but uranium for nuclear weapons.

“Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program,” Netanyahu said.

However, Netanyahu did not appear to present evidence of ongoing nuclear activity in violation of the deal signed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers, which traded sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear program.

Netanyahu said he is certain that Trump will “do the right thing” in deciding whether to stay in the nuclear deal. “The right thing for the United States. The right thing for Israel. And the right thing for the peace of the world,” he said.

Trump is set to decide by May 12 whether the U.S. will remain in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is known.

In a meeting with reporters in the White House Rose Garden shortly after Netanyahu’s presentation, Trump said that the disclosure “showed that I was 100 percent right” in criticizing the Iran nuclear deal. “That is just not an acceptable situation,” he also said.

Trump declined to say what he would decide on the Iran nuclear deal.

“We’ll see what happens. I’m not telling you what I’m doing, but a lot of people think they know,” he said. “On or before the 12th, we’ll make a decision. That doesn’t mean we won’t negotiate a real agreement.

The reaction to Netanyahu’s speech were mixed. “[W]hen Iranian officials claim – as they often do – that Iran [never had] a nuclear weapons program, they were lying,” James Acton, co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment, tweeted. “But, we knew that already. The JCPOA was designed on that basis.”

Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal said it confirmed that Iran cannot be trusted.

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro wrote that the documents demonstrate “that the Obama administration lied constantly and repeatedly to the public about Iran’s newfound moderation in order to scam the public into approving Obama’s Iran nuclear deal – a deal that allowed Iran to maximize its regional power with income from the West.”


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