No immunity for Iran in case of nuclear deal, warns Mossad chief

Mossad chief David Barnea said Monday that Israel would not participate in the “charade” of a new nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, warning that the emerging deal would offer “no immunity” in Tehran in the face of the operations of the spy agency.

“The deal is based on Iranian lies. Iran seeks to build a nuclear weapon that endangers the existence of Israel. This deal will help them achieve this easily, with international legitimization,” Barnea told a conference at Reichman University in Herzliya, in his first public appearance since taking over as head of the spy agency. in June 2021.

Barnea said that “even if an agreement is signed, it cannot serve as immunity from Mossad operations. »

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“We will not take part in this masquerade. We will not close our eyes to the proven truth. The Iranian regime will not enjoy any immunity,” he warned.

“Iranian leaders must understand that attacks on Israel or Israelis, directly or indirectly by their proxies, will be followed by heavy reprisals against those responsible on Iranian soil. We will not prosecute the proxies, but those who armed them and gave them orders, and it will happen in Iran,” Barnea warned.

He said Iranian state terrorism has not stopped, despite ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers.

“It is state terrorism, ordered by the leader [de l’Iran] [Ali Khamenei] and perpetrated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other Iranian intelligence organizations. This is not a spontaneous act, but planned, systematic and strategic terrorism,” he said.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses the nation in a televised speech marking the Iranian New Year, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, March 21, 2021. (Iranian Supreme Leader’s Office via AP)

“Terrorism is used by Iran as a substitute for diplomacy,” Barnea said. “Terrorism serves the survival of the regime, prevents any reshuffling by the Iranian people, undermines the sovereignty of its neighbors and deters them from cooperating with Israel. Terrorism is used to extort countries around the world,” he added.

“Nuclear negotiations are in no way a limiting factor, on the contrary. terrorist acts [commandités par l’Iran] are expanding both on US soil and in Europe as negotiations unfold in Vienna,” Barnea said.

Barnea said the Mossad foiled “dozens of Iranian terrorist attacks against Israelis and Jews abroad” recently, in Cyprus, Turkey, Colombia and “many other places. »

“In each of these cases, the perpetrators were caught in possession of the means to kill,” he said.

“Attempts have been made to harm American officials on American soil,” he added, referring to alleged Iranian plans to assassinate former US national security adviser John Bolton and the former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“Failing to hold them accountable for these terrorist acts in the strongest possible way would be tantamount to giving them the green light to continue their activities,” Barnea added.

Turkish authorities arrest a suspected Iranian cell that sought to target Israelis in Istanbul on June 23, 2022. (Screenshot/CNN Turkey)

Barnea was in the United States last week to speak with officials from the emerging nuclear deal. He said on Monday that he had “outlined the consequences of signing the deal,” including the $90 billion Iran would earn in the first year and dozens more each year thereafter, which, he warned, would be used to fund his terrorist proxies.

Last month, European mediators appeared to be making progress in reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, with Iran broadly accepting a proposed final text. But the odds dwindled when the United States sent a response, to which Iran responded by again demanding that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) close its investigation of several nuclear sites. not declared.

On Sunday morning, a senior Israeli official said Israel did not believe Iran and world powers would renege on their nuclear deal before the US midterm elections scheduled for November.

Iran is always ready to cooperate with the IAEA to “sweep away” the doubts raised by the latter on the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

“The Islamic Republic is ready to cooperate with the IAEA to dispel false impressions regarding its peaceful nuclear activities,” spokesman Nasser Kanani said during his weekly press conference.

This statement comes as the meeting of the Board of Governors of the IAEA opens Monday in Vienna. The UN agency said on Wednesday “not being able to guarantee” that the Iranian program is “exclusively peaceful”. In question, “the lack of progress” on the issue of three undeclared sites, where traces of uranium have been discovered in the past, according to a confidential report from the IAEA consulted by AFP. Iran on Thursday denounced the report as “baseless”.

Tehran had recently reiterated its request to close the IAEA’s investigation into traces of enriched uranium found at three undeclared sites, which the head of the Agency, Rafael Grossi, refuses without “credible” answers from the part. from Tehran.

“To our knowledge, no draft resolution (about Iran) has been submitted for the meeting” of the Board of Governors of the IAEA, said Mr. Kanani.

“However, the Islamic Republic will respond based on the agency’s approach,” he added.

In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal and reimposed harsh sanctions, prompting Tehran to publicly backtrack on its commitments under the deal.

US President Joe Biden is in favor of the return of the agreement. Under the proposed deal, Iran would get sanctions relief and could once again sell its oil around the world in exchange for tight restrictions on its nuclear program.

AFP contributed to this article.

No immunity for Iran in case of nuclear deal, warns Mossad chief