Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv, Israel April 30, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
"There is no smoking gun in the documents of the nuclear program because the smoke evaporated a long time ago," former Mossad chief Danny Yatom told Israel's Army Radio on Wednesday morning. However, he conceded that while the material wasn't new for Israel, it was for many countries around the world; and it could help convince them that the Iranians are lying.
Yatom added that the real importance of the material lies in the many other pieces of information connected to Iranian military strategy, but also emphasized that this intelligence was not relevant today anymore. "Today we are in a different situation. The prime minister's presentation did not indicate any breach of the nuclear agreement."
Asked whether, in the position of the head of the Mossad, he would have advised the prime minister not to deliver his speech, Yotam declined. "Netanyahu's performance was legitimate, and it highlighted an achievement that is reason for great pride, but it contained no new information."
Israel claims proof Iran "lied" about past nuclear program, April 30, 2018 (Reuters
The former head of the Mossad also referred to the possibility that the United States would withdraw from the agreement: "It wouldn't be right for the United States to withdraw from the agreement. There is potential for negotiation that wouldn't exist in the absence of it. We need to add the whole issue of missiles to the deal and we need to be able to have inspectors enter much deeper than before. We can't compromise on that with the Iranians."
In addition, Yatom clarified that he was not sure whether the IAEA inspectors were even looking for the material in the archive, as "their goal was to ensure that the agreement is kept, and not what was done prior to it. They might have looked into it but probably not enough. To this day inspectors have not demanded to enter military installations which they should have done and the Iranians should permit it. In case Iran does not comply with the new demands, such as dealing with the issue of missiles and supporting terrorism, the US still has enough time to leave the agreement.
On the situation in Iran In light of the Mossad's activity in its territory, Yatom said that the Iranians should be very concerned because they are increasingly exposed to the Israeli intelligence capabilities and they will certainly try to close the gap. They will also want to avenge the attack on the Syrian T-4 base, which is attributed to Israel, he added. However, they have a problem: Revenge in Israel can turn into something much bigger, which they have no interest in. When there is an exchange of blows, it is impossible to know where it will deteriorate."
Translated by Juliane Helmhold.