Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech on Iran’s nuclear program at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2018. (AFP)
April 17, 2021
An adviser to Iran
’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel stole the country’s nuclear archive, in what appears to be the first public admission of the 2018 Mossad operation by an Iranian official.
Momeen Rezaei, secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council that reports directly to the supreme leader, told Iran’s Mehr News on Wednesday that the country needs a major revamp of its security.
“The country has been widely exposed to security violations, and the example is that in less than a year, three security incidents have occurred: two explosions and one assassination,” said Rezaei.
The two explosions took place at the Natanz nuclear
site, first in July, taking out about three-fourths of the above-ground centrifuge assembly facility, and then on Sunday night, when the site’s electric grid and backup system were destroyed, along with large numbers of centrifuges. The assassination was of the head of Iran’s nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in November.
“Before this, documents from our entire nuclear [archive] have been stolen, and before that, a few suspicious drones came and did some work,” Rezaei added.
When the Mossad smuggled the nuclear archive out of Iran in 2018, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presenting evidence that the Islamic Republic aimed to develop a nuclear weapon, Iran denied that it was real. Iran nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi called it “a very childish and even a ridiculous play.” Mohammad Marandi, one of Iran’s negotiators in the 2015 nuclear deal, said Israel had “fabricated evidence.”
Rezaei said this week’s attack on Natanz was “a bad event in terms of prestige,” and that “they did it to break our resistance in diplomacy.”
Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said earlier this week that Sunday’s attack damaged thousands of centrifuges. “The design of the enemy was very beautiful,” he said.
The Jerusalem Post