By Rick Moran
Sometime last January, several agents belonging to Israel’s intelligence service, Mossad, approached a nondescript warehouse in Tehran. After disabling a few alarms and bypassing other security measures, the agents entered the building.
The agents had hit the jackpot. Over six and a half hours, the agents removed tens of thousands of documents relating to Iran’s nuclear program. The documents included warhead designs and information on how other countries had assisted Iran in its nuclear program.
The upshot is that the documents – as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech last April when he made the raid public – prove that Iran has been lying about its nuclear program.
A large team of Israeli experts has continued to mine the document trove for new revelations while simultaneously sharing the material with U.S. and European intelligence agencies as well as with the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, the U.N. watchdog in charge of monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity. Officials shared recent discoveries with a small group of Western news outlets last week, arguing that the newly uncovered evidence of Tehran’s advanced nuclear weapons research – along with its elaborate efforts to conceal the activity while preserving the technical know-how for possible future use – shows that Iran cannot be trusted. Iran has disputed the authenticity of the documents obtained by Israel, calling them forgeries. Officials at Iran’s U.N. mission in New York did not reply to a request for comment.
“This archive explains why we have doubts,” a senior Israeli official told U.S. journalists at the briefing in Tel Aviv. The official, like others involved, insisted on anonymity in discussing highly sensitive documents and intelligence operations.
“It explains why the [nuclear deal] to us is worse than nothing, because it leaves key parts of the nuclear program unaddressed,” the official said. “It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb. It paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”