“From an operational aspect, this is amazing, and all credit goes to the Mossad people. This is one of the greatest intelligence operations in the State of Israel’s history,” Israel’s Intelligence Minister said.
By: World Israel News Staff
New details have emerged about the Mossad’s daring mission in Tehran through it successfully captured half a ton of documents on Iran’s secret and illicit nuclear program.
A New York Times report on Monday quoted a “senior Israeli official” who said that Israel’s Mossad intelligence service discovered the warehouse located in the Shorabad suburb in southern Tehran in February 2016, and had the building under surveillance since then.
“From the outside, this was an innocent looking compound. It looks like a dilapidated warehouse. But from the inside, it contained Iran’s secret atomic archives locked in massive files,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said with a portion of the more than 100,000 documents and disks displayed behind him.
“Few Iranians knew where it was, very few, and also a few Israelis,” Netanyahu said.
Mossad operatives broke into the building one night last January, removed the original documents and smuggled them back to Israel the same night, the Times said.
Israel’s Hadashot news reported that the files were removed from the Islamic Republic during a hot pursuit with Iranian security forces “on their tails.”
President Donald Trump was briefed on the operation by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen on a visit to Washington in January, the Times reported.
The delay in making the material public until now was the result of a need to analyze the documents, the vast majority of which were in Persian, the Times added.
The bold espionage operation required an expansive operational infrastructure within Iranian territory, Hadashot news said.
Speaking to Israel’s Ynet News on Tuesday, Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said “he assumes” the Iranians knew Israel was in possession of the files that same night.
“When the idea of the operation was first presented, I didn’t think it was feasible,” Katz said in the interview. “What they did here is unprecedented. They took tons of authentic documents and brought them here.”
“From an operational aspect, this is amazing, and all credit goes to the Mossad people. This is one of the greatest intelligence operations in the State of Israel’s history,” he added.
Israel obtained half a ton of the material inside that was locked away in vaults in the warehouse. The treasure trove of intelligence included 55,000 pages and another 55,000 files on 183 CDs.
Israel’s Channel 10 News reported that Iranian authorities had launched a wave of arrests following Netanyahu’s presentation, and those responsible could face execution.