by WorldTribune Staff, May 3, 2018
Iran has launched a series of arrests following the revelation that Israeli intelligence agents infiltrated Iran’s secret nuclear archive and smuggled out a massive amount of files, a report said.
Iranians found responsible for Israel pulling of the intelligence coup could face execution, Channel 10 News’s Arab affairs correspondent Zvi Yehezkeli said on May 1.
The Teheran warehouse where the files had been stored was maintained by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Intelligence Organization, formed in 2009 by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and headed by cleric Hossein Taeb.
Hadashot Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari said Western officials now believe “a reckoning is in store” for Taeb and other officials under whose watch the top secret files were taken.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed on April 30 that Mossad agents smuggled hundreds of kilograms of paper and digital files on Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program out of the Islamic Republic.
Hadashot television news reported that the Mossad agents pulled off the heist with Iranian agents “on their tails.”
The warehouse storing the files was located in the Shorabad suburb in southern Teheran in an industrial area. Mossad reportedly discovered the warehouse in February 2016 and put the building under surveillance.
Mossad agents in January of this year received pinpoint information pointing them to certain safes in a specific container inside the warehouse. The team then broke in, removed the files and transferred them to a secondary location.
“Before arriving at the site, the secret archives had been moved by Iranian authorities several times in a bid to keep their whereabouts a secret,” The Times of Israel reported.
According to Hadashot, Iranian officials realized the files had been taken before they were out of the country. Mossad agents managed to smuggle the data out of Iran with authorities “on their tails,” searching for them.
“The documents were not copied onto a portable hard drive, nor transferred electronically back to Israel,” according to report by TheJC.com. “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.”
Katz said the operation was unprecedented in Israel’s history.
“When the idea of the operation was first presented, I did not believe they could achieve it,” he told the Ynet news site. “They did something unprecedented here. They took tons of authentic documents here – and brought them here.”
Hadashot said that the decision to publicize the contents of the intelligence heist was made at a meeting involving Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Mossad head Yossi Cohen, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, and head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Tamir Hayman.