Israel ‘torched its way’ to Iranian nuclear secrets — NY Times

Blanche Robertson
July 16, 2018

Israeli officials have given the first details of the raid on a warehouse in Tehran that allowed agents to smuggle out tens of thousands of documents on Iran's nuclear programme in what they described as an "Ocean's 11-type heist".

The information reported Sunday shed more light on the daring Mossad operation but offered few other details beyond what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in April, when he unveiled what he said was a trove of secret Iranian nuclear documents dating back to 2003 seized by Israeli intelligence.

It is impossible to verify Israel's claims about the documents, which Iranian officials dismissed in April as an "orchestrated play" created to turn the Trump administration against the agreement President Barack Obama and other world leaders negotiated to curb Iran's nuclear activities.

At 10.30 p.m. on January 31, a team of two dozen Mossad agents - mostly Iranian double spies - breached the warehouse by tampering with the alarm system to make it appear functional even as they had their run of the place. Specifically, the article explains that the Mossad agents "mov [ed] in on a warehouse in a drab commercial district of Tehran [and] knew exactly how much time they had to disable the alarms, break through two doors, cut through dozens of giant safes and get out of the city with a half-ton of secret materials: six hours and 29 minutes".

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The Times reporter concluded after reviewing the documents that "d$3 espite Iranian insistence that its [nuclear] program was for peaceful purposes, the country had worked in the past to systematically assemble everything it needed to produce atomic weapons". Another report, from the Washington Post, said that Iran was on the verge of acquiring "key bombmaking technologies" when the program, code-named Project Amad, was halted some 15 years ago.

In a lengthy briefing at a security facility here last week, senior Israeli intelligence officials disclosed additional details about the operation.

There was no immediate comment from Netanyahu's office.

Alireza Miryousefi, a minister-counselor at Iran's United Nations mission, said in response to the new allegations: "Iran has always been clear that creating indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction is against what we stand for as a country and the notion that Iran would abandon any kind of sensitive information in some random warehouse in Tehran is laughably absurd".

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