Deputy Mossad chief blasts Netanyahu for management of Iran threat

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The Islamic Republic has accumulated more enriched uranium since Israel pushed for the annulment of the Iran nuclear deal, and is spreading its influence and power throughout the Middle East, outgoing deputy head of Mossad said in an interview with Israeli media in which he criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Our situation today is worse than it was at the time of the [2015] nuclear deal,” the official – who can only be identified by the first initial of his name, “A” – told Yediot Aharonot. “They didn’t stop their spread in the region for a moment. They are developing missiles… the deal we made wasn’t good; we are back to the same place.”

“A” retired last month after narrowly losing out on becoming the next Mossad chief to replace current director Yossi Cohen, who leaves his post in June.

Both “A” and “D,” who was Cohen’s deputy prior to “A” and who won the appointment, are highly respected and considered talented and apolitical candidates within the spy agency.

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“A” said that one of the goals of the January 2018 Mossad raid on the Iranian nuclear archive was to help convince former US president Donald Trump to withdraw from the nuclear deal.

He said that the mission was carried out under the direction of the cabinet, and that a variety of other unreported operations were initiated to convince Trump to abandon the deal.

“How do we break the deal?” asked “A”. “Obviously, if we succeed in getting the Americans to leave it, it will start falling apart until it dissolves completely. We prepared accordingly, we started processes, the archive was one of them.”

Describing a lack of satisfaction with the policy results pursued and achieved by Netanyahu from these operations, he said: “If I look at today, March 2021, then we have a situation in which there is uranium enrichment in Fordow, there is activity in Kashan, there is work at Natanz, they have accumulated 2.5 tons of enriched uranium, and now advanced centrifuges, too. But we are in a democratic system,” appearing to suggest Netanyahu has been at fault.

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In addition, “A” stated that the prime minister had set himself up “in complete opposition” to the Obama administration, and this reduced Israel’s ability to mitigate holes in the Iran deal.

Moreover, while the Iran nuclear program is an existential threat and should be viewed as the top priority, the government has wrongly mixed in issues about Iran’s role in the region and its program to smuggle precision guided missiles to Hezbollah and to its proxies in Syria.

Due to a mixing of these issues, “A” said that by trying to address them all, Netanyahu had lost focus and an ability to put primary pressure on reducing the nuclear threat.

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