Connect with us

News

Ex-Mossad chief hints at Israeli role behind Iran nuclear attacks | Nuclear Energy News

Published

on


The outgoing chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service has offered the closest acknowledgement yet his country was behind recent attacks targeting Iran’s nuclear programme and a military scientist.

The comments by Yossi Cohen, speaking to Israel’s Channel 12 investigative programme Uvda in a segment aired on Thursday night, offered an extraordinary debriefing by the head of the typically secretive agency in what appears to be the final days of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule.

It also gave a clear warning to other scientists in Iran’s nuclear programme that they too could become targets for assassination even as diplomats in Vienna try to negotiate terms to try to salvage the 2015 nuclear accord with world powers. United States President Joe Biden has dispatched his diplomats to revive the landmark deal from which his predecessor, Donald Trump, walked away in 2018.

“If the scientist is willing to change career and will not hurt us anymore, then yes, sometimes we offer them” a way out, Cohen said.

Among the major attacks to target Iran, none have struck deeper than two explosions over the last year at its Natanz nuclear facility. There, centrifuges enrich uranium from an underground hall designed to protect them from air strikes.

In July 2020, a mysterious explosion tore apart Natanz’s advanced centrifuge assembly, which Iran later blamed on Israel. Then in April of this year, another blast tore apart one of its underground enrichment halls.

Discussing Natanz, the interviewer asked Cohen where he would take them if they could travel there, he said “to the cellar” where “the centrifuges used to spin”.

“It doesn’t look like it used to look,” he added.

Iran nuclear programme is peaceful

Cohen did not directly claim the attacks, but his specificity offered the closest acknowledgement yet of an Israeli hand in the attacks. The interviewer, journalist Ilan Dayan, also seemingly offered a detailed description in a voiceover of how Israel snuck the explosives into Natanz’s underground halls.

“The man who was responsible for these explosions, it becomes clear, made sure to supply to the Iranians the marble foundation on which the centrifuges are placed,” Dayan said. “As they install this foundation within the Natanz facility, they have no idea that it already includes an enormous amount of explosives.”

They also discussed the November killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist who began Tehran’s military nuclear programme decades ago. The US and its regional ally Israel suspect that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. But Tehran has long maintained its programme is peaceful.

While Cohen on camera does not claim the killing, Dayan in the segment described Cohen as having “personally signed off on the entire campaign”. Dayan also described how a remotely operated machine gun fixed to a pick-up truck killed Fakhrizadeh and later self-destructed.

Cohen described an Israeli effort to dissuade Iranian scientists from taking part in the programme, which had seen some abandon their work after being warned, even indirectly, by Israel. Asked by the interviewer if the scientists understood the implications if they did not stop, Cohen said: “They see their friends.”

They also talked about Israel’s operation seizing archival documents from Iran’s military nuclear programme. Dayan said 20 agents – none Israelis – seized material from 32 safes, then scanned and transmitted a large portion of the documents. Cohen confirmed that the Mossad received most of the material before it was physically taken out of Iran.

The damaged building at the Natanz nuclear facility [Iran Atomic Organization via AFP]

New warning to Iran

Cohen defended Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to go public with the results of the operation, going against a longstanding practice of secrecy involving Mossad activities.

“It was important to us that the world will see this, but this thing should also resonate with the Iranian leadership, to tell them, ‘Dear friends: One, you have been infiltrated. Two, we see you … Three, the era of … lies is over,’” Cohen said.

Media in Israel operate under a decades-old policy that requires journalists to clear stories involving security matters through military censors. That Cohen’s remarks apparently cleared the censors suggests Israel wanted to issue a new warning to Iran amid the Vienna nuclear negotiations.

Iran has repeatedly complained about Israel’s attacks, with Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi warning as recently as Thursday that the incidents “not only will be responded to decisively, but also certainly leave no option for Iran but to reconsider its transparency measures and cooperation policy”.

Iran has allowed inspection of its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but has threatened to stop cooperation if the nuclear deal is not revived. Tehran has called on the US to lift sanctions for it to return to the deal.

On Thursday, the Biden administration lifted sanctions on three Iranian government officials and two companies days before the next round of talks in Vienna.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment over the remarks by Cohen, who was replaced by former operative David Barnea. Cohen in the interview acknowledged he might one day seek the prime minister’s office himself.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

Advertisement

News

Ethiopia elections 2021: Abiy Ahmed faces first vote amid conflict

Published

on

By


His reformist zeal saw him win the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, but just a year later, he waged a military operation in his own country – deploying troops to Tigray to oust the TPLF as the region’s ruling party after it seized military bases in what Mr Abiy saw as a bid to overthrow him.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

Continue Reading

News

New Cabinet to Be Sworn-In Today

Published

on

By


Parliament has scheduled today Monday 21, 2021 for the inauguration of the new cabinet ministers.

For the whole of last week, 79 ministers were vetted by Parliament’s Appointments Committee led by Deputy Speaker Anita Among.

Two other appointees missed out reportedly due to health related challenges.

The swearing in event is being conducted with extreme caution by ensuring that all in attendance are free of Covid19.

President Yoweri Museveni was on Friday 18 forced to lock the country after fatalities of the novel virus spiked again.

Earlier on, Parliament was forced to scale down its work force after rumours that over 100 Members of Parliament were battling Covid-19.

The Institution’s Director of Communications Chris Obore however clarified on Friday that those affected attended crowded events; The State of Nation Address (SONA) and Budget Reading events.

The above events were held on June 4 and June 10, 2021 respectively.

“Over 3,000 people that included MPs, staff of Parliament, Police, ISO, SFC, Service Providers, Journalists, Prisons staff and invited guests were tested for COVID-19,” Obore explained.

“Out of all those tested for the events, approximately 100 came out positive. Note that Parliament has 529MPs (approximately 30 Parliament staff were manning the events,” he pointed out.

Obore refuted allegations the one hundred cases were from a sample of more than 3000 and disclosed that some had already recovered.

The post New Cabinet to Be Sworn-In Today first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

Continue Reading

News

Policeman Arrested for Shooting Student while Chasing Suspect

Published

on

By


A policeman belonging to Flying Squad Unit in Arua City has been arrested for shooting and injuring a 16-year old pupil while chasing a suspect.

Hussein Yusuf of Oyoze Cell in Arua Central Division is admitted to hospital after both legs were shattered after he was shot at when four police officers fired indiscriminately as they pursued a suspected criminal.

According to relatives of the victim, the minor was performing ablution for 1pm prayers near their home yesterday when bullets caught him in the legs and he fell down. Yusuf Ismail, an elder brother to the victim said he had come out of the house to see what was happening as bullets were fired only so see his brother bleeding helplessly on the ground.

Hussein’s sister, Samari Eyotaru said her brother was rushed to Arua regional referral hospital where it was established through imaging scan that both his two legs were broken

Following the incident, relatives of the victim informed the police at Arua CPS who swung into action and opened a case of attempted murder under Arua SD Ref. 54/16/06/2021 against one of the officers, whose name they are however withholding saying that revealing it at this stage would jeopardize investigations.

Hudson Ocheng, the Police Spokesperson for West Nile confirmed the incident and said investigations are ongoing into the incident.

Ocheng added that the police officers fired after meeting resistance from the community who blocked them from arresting a suspect in connection with the theft of a motorcycle Reg. No. UFE 159N.

Reports from the relatives of Hussein indicate that by Thursday evening, doctors at Arua Regional Referral Hospital had referred the victim for further management at Lacor hospital as police had reportedly gone into negotiations with the family on footing the medical bills and probable compensation.

Since the disbanding of the Flying Squad more than three years ago, the W. Nile Police Flying Squad has apparently continued to operate independent of CID supervision under which they were placed for deployment and operations.

The post Policeman Arrested for Shooting Student while Chasing Suspect first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

Continue Reading

Trending