Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iran is the primary target of the Mossad’s actions, which number in the hundreds and thousands each year, Mossad head Yossi Cohen said on Monday.
Cohen was speaking at the Mossad headquarters alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a ceremony where Netanyahu initiated what he said would be a new annual tradition of handing out six citations of merit to Mossad employees who took part in operations.
Cohen said the spy organization works within the framework of a multi-year plan that focuses on the top national, security and diplomatic priorities.
“The objectives of the Mossad are clear: Iran continues to hold onto its vision of attaining significant nuclear capabilities, so that it will attain nuclear military capabilities,” he said.
Cohen added that the Islamic Republic continues to aggressively direct military and operational forces in the Middle East closer to Israel’s borders than ever before, both in Syria and in Lebanon; continues to support Hezbollah and, increasingly of late, Hamas; and continues to transfer advanced precision weaponry to terrorist organizations in the region.
In addition to Iran, he said, Islamic State “will continue to challenge us every day in its efforts to harm us and, no less important, our friends around the world.”
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Cohen said that the Mossad “undertakes hundreds and thousands of actions every year, some of which are complex and bold, in the heart of enemy states – the target countries.” He added that the organization has a “unique ability to work in the very heart of the target, to penetrate into the most guarded and dangerous places, and to return with a decisive achievement.”
He called the organization a “link in the chain of the lives of our people – an ancient people that strives to be an example for itself and to the world.”
Netanyahu, who called the organization a “synchronized fist,” said he saluted its “initiative, daring and professionalism – both in planning and in execution.”