Category Archive 'Iranian Nuclear Program'

06 May 2018

How Israel Stole Iran’s Secret Nuclear Files

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Michael Daventry gives the inside scoop on the Intelligence coup of the century.

The spectacle of Benjamin Netanyahu barely able to contain his excitement as he paced back and forth around the stage, pointing out his props and slides, was remarkable enough.

But that was as nothing compared with what was truly remarkable — an intelligence coup that is already regarded as legendary.

The Israeli prime minister had just uncovered — literally, by pulling away dust sheets to reveal shelves of filing — the evidence that showed Iran had for years been engaged on a secret nuclear programme.

“Iran lied, big time,” Mr Netanyahu told a hastily-assembled room of journalists on Monday. “A few weeks ago, in a great intelligence achievement, Israel obtained half a ton of material”.

His presentation was closely coordinated with the United States, coming just days before President Trump decides whether to abandon the international deal that was said by its supporters to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Mr Netanyahu’s words were dramatic. But they barely came close to conveying the drama of the Mossad’s unprecedented operation.

The cache — containing tens of thousands of pages, many of them handwritten — was snatched by Mossad agents in a single night, from a ramshackle warehouse in a suburb south of Tehran, the Iranian capital. Sources say the building had been under constant surveillance by Israeli intelligence from the moment it was first discovered in February 2016 until the decision to act was taken.

That moment came one night in January this year.

This was not a data transfer of the kind that has made the Mission Impossible movies so thrilling. The documents were not copied onto a portable hard drive, nor transferred electronically back to Israel.

Every file and CD — weighing a collective half a ton — was transported physically in a single night.

And not one of Mossad’s “human assets” — Israeli agents and Iranian informants — was harmed in the operation, intelligence minister Yisrael Katz told Israeli radio on Tuesday.

It is no exaggeration to say that all of this happened under the Iranian government’s nose; Iran’s foreign ministry building was so close to the warehouse that the Mossad agents could have driven to it in the centre of Tehran in barely half an hour.

“This was a highly complex operation, over a long period of time, in a deeply hostile environment,” said James Sorene, chief executive of the Bicom think-tank.

“To remove so much physical material in such circumstances is nothing short of remarkable.

“When you consider it alongside Israel’s apparent ability to identify Iranian arms shipments to Syria as they leave Tehran, you can only conclude that the Iranian regime is severely compromised by the brilliance of Israeli intelligence.”

RTWT

04 Aug 2015

Civilian Purposes

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IsraeliCivilians

17 Jul 2015

Negotiations Went Smoothly

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DeathtoAmerica

25 Jun 2011

Just One of Those Things

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Haaretz sympathizes with the terrible bad luck that seems to pursue scientists and engineers who provide assistance to Iran’s nuclear program. It’s really a lot like all the deaths which overtook the people who violated that pharoah’s tomb.

The five nuclear experts killed in a plane crash in northern Russia earlier this week had assisted in the design of an Iranian atomic facility, security sources in Russia said on Thursday.

The five Russian experts were among the 44 passengers killed when the Tupolev-134 plane broke up and caught fire on landing outside the northern city of Petrozavodsk on Monday.

The experts – who included lead designers Sergei Rizhov, Gennadi Benyok, Nicolai Tronov and Russia’s top nuclear technological experts, Andrei Tropinov – worked at Bushehr after the contract for the plant’s construction passed from the German Siemens company to Russian hands.

The five were employed at the Hydropress factory, a member of Russia’s state nuclear corporation, and one of the main companies to contract for the Bushehr construction.

The sources said that the death of the scientists is a great blow to the Russian nuclear industry.

The experts were tasked with completing construction of the plant and ensuring that it would be able to survive an earthquake.

According to the sources, although Iranian nuclear scientists have in the past been involved in unexplained accidents and plane crashes, there is no official suspicion of foul play. Investigators are probing human error and technical malfunction as the causes of the crash.

Careful reading between the lines may discover that there is a message of some kind embedded in this news story.

Hat tip to Mollie Hemingway.


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