Mossad chief: Iran nuclear deal won’t halt Israeli ‘operations’

While Israel has never admitted to any attacks, it has been accused of engaging in a shadow war with Iran for years.

While Israel has never admitted to any attacks against Iran, it has been accused of engaging in a shadow war for years [File: Ammar Awad/Reuters]

The head of Israel’s spy agency Mossad has said in a speech that the revival of a nuclear deal with world powers will not give Iran “immunity” from Israeli operations.

Israel has long opposed the 2015 nuclear deal, saying it did not go far enough to halt Iran’s nuclear programme and does not address what it sees as hostile Iranian military activity across the Middle East.

“We won’t take part in this charade,” David Barnea said in a speech, his first since becoming Mossad’s chief in June. “Even if a deal is signed, it will not provide immunity from Mossad operations.”

The spy chief also claimed to have prevented Iran-sponsored attacks around the world.

“We thwarted dozens of Iranian terror attacks… It is not the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is the terror republic of Iran,” the Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying.

Barnea said investigations opened by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into suspected covert nuclear activity in Iran should not be closed – as Tehran is demanding – because that could lead to “a nuclear escalation”.

“Once the nuclear deal is signed, there will be no restraint on Iranian terror,” he said, noting the removal of crippling sanctions will bring streams of revenue back into Iran.

While Israel has never admitted to any attacks, it has been accused of engaging in a shadow war with Iran for years, mainly to slow down Iran’s nuclear programme.

In 2020, Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated. Others, including an engineer, a military officer, and an aeronautical scientist, were killed in recent months with rumours circulating that Israel was involved.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani – in response to Barnea’s comments – told the Tehran Times: “We do not expect a terrorist regime anything other than terrorist actions.”

Negotiations to revive the landmark deal resumed in 2021 after former US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed debilitating sanctions on Tehran.

With a revived nuclear deal, the US and the deal’s other signatories – China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom, known collectively as the P5+1 – aim to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb.

Iran maintains its nuclear aims are peaceful and its actions fall within the country’s sovereign rights to a civilian nuclear programme.

Source: Al Jazeera