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Israel’s spy chief proclaims: ‘It’s a great pleasure to steal from the Persians’

Mossad director Yossi Cohen made an unusual comment on Saturday, all but conceding that his agency was responsible for the recent daring raid on Iran’s nuclear archive.

Director of the Mossad Yossi Cohen (left) greets outgoing Israel Defense Forces Chief of Intelligence Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevy at the Glilot military base near Tel Aviv, March 28, 2018. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Director of the Mossad Yossi Cohen (left) greets outgoing Israel Defense Forces Chief of Intelligence Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevy at the Glilot military base near Tel Aviv, March 28, 2018. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

Mossad director Yossi Cohen made an unusual comment on Saturday, all but conceding that his agency was responsible for the recent daring raid on Iran’s nuclear archive.

Speaking at an event marking the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Cohen said “it is a great pleasure to steal from Persians,” Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported.

Cohen was referring to the televised revelation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 30 that Israeli intelligence had obtained a large trove of documents—amounting to 55,000 printed pages and 183 compact disks of data—detailing Iran’s nuclearization efforts over the years.

In his presentation, Netanyahu made the case that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was based on Iranian lies because the documents showed Iran had never actually abandoned its efforts to seek a nuclear bomb and had kept its archive to maintain its expertise and capabilities.

According to The New York Times, the operation was carried out by the Mossad in January, about two years after the agency discovered that the archive was stored in a small, nondescript warehouse outside Tehran.

At the Shavuot event, Cohen said that after the revelation of the operation, he was approached by his counterparts in other spy agencies who said they were willing to help Israel.

“I told them that they could help by voting for Israel in Eurovision,” Cohen quipped, referring to the recent international song contest won by Israel.

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