How the Mossad op to retrieve Iran's nuclear files took a surprising turn

At all stages, including mid-operation, Cohen pressed for bringing back as much physical original evidence as possible in order to deflate any objections from Iran that the evidence was doctored.

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September 5, 2018 18:36
1 minute read.
Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Defense

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 30, 2018. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

The Mossad agents who appropriated Iran’s nuclear secrets from a warehouse in Tehran in January knew they would be taking a large number of folders, but did not realize there would be a large volume of disks, Yediot Aharonot ’s Ronen Bergman reported on Wednesday.

The Mossad agents involved were reportedly so surprised that they checked in with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen who was observing the mission from Israel. Cohen quickly gave the order to take as many of the disks as they could get.

The report said that in preparing for the operation, the planners debated whether to photograph the files or physically bring them – a more complex operation.

At all stages, including mid-operation, Cohen pressed to bring back as much original evidence as possible in order to counter any claims from Iran that the evidence was doctored.

His ad hoc call mid-operation ended up having important repercussions as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to break with precedent and publicly pres - ent the intelligence materials in a press conference on April 30.

Many say that Netanyahu’s presentation moved US President Donald Trump the final mile toward deciding to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Further, the report said that information contained on the disks provided a wealth of data about Iran’s nuclear activities that was not in the files.


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