(July 1, 2019 / Israel Hayom) Mossad head Yossi Cohen revealed new details on Monday about the Israeli operation to secure the archive of material relating to Iran’s nuclear program, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed at a special press conference in April 2018.
“Hundreds of people spent months tracking many different individuals and did the inconceivable,” said Cohen. “A lot of people in the Mossad were working on this for a long time. When the operation was at its height, after a number of sleepless nights, we received reports that there were [computer] discs and not only documents. We gave orders to bring them in, too, even though it made it more complicated.”
Cohen’s remarks came during his Herzliya Conference address at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.
“In total, [there were] 55,000 documents, pictures and videos that helped expose the big Iranian lie. The operation proved that the impossible—the impossible and inconceivable—was conceivable,” said Cohen, adding that “the operation changed the world’s attitude toward Iran.”
Cohen also addressed a number of other regional issues, including Israeli relations with Arab countries. He noted that while Israel had official diplomatic ties with two Arab countries, more Arab nations were “joining that important circle,” with whom Israel was cooperating at various levels.
“They are looking for realistic solutions to regional conflicts,” he said. “The Mossad can contribute to making peace. I can reveal that to bolster our ability in the field of peacemaking, we established a directorate to improve Israel’s diplomatic standing. The goal is to reach an inclusive peace agreement.”
Cohen said that Arab nations were unwilling to accept Iran’s “bullying behavior.”
“Iran is seeking to destroy us. It’s hard to understand why. You can’t say Iran is innocent or well-intentioned,” he said.
According to Cohen, the Mossad and the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate “helped every time Iranian activities were exposed in countries all around the world, saving lives.”
“We do it quietly, and wisely,” he said.
However, he said, Iran has not yet changed course.
“Iran is stepping up its uranium enrichment. There is nothing innocent in its policies,” said Cohen. “The claim that it is being done for use in energy production is a total lie. If Iran had fissile material, the region and the world as a whole would look different.
“The Mossad didn’t sign the  nuclear deal; it has a contract with the citizens of Israel, which promises that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon. The IAEA and international intelligence agencies received the original documents from the nuclear archive to see for themselves,” he explained. “Thanks to the raid in the heart of Tehran, we are keeping Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. It’s not the nuclear deal; it’s the determination to stand up to Iran in every way possible that is standing between Iran and a nuclear bomb.”
Touching on Iranian proxy Hezbollah, Cohen said Lebanon “has been taken over by a terrorist organization. In a war, it could be harmed by Israel’s defensive measures.”
Cohen also said that an opportunity was opening for Israel to “solve the conflict with the Palestinians or at least make progress on it.”
He told the audience that in the past few years, the Mossad has been working to locate the grave of [Israeli spy] Eli Cohen.
“We are committed to bringing all our missing and captive [people] home,” he said.
Cohen called the Mossad a “microcosm of Israeli society.”
“The Mossad needs to reflect the values of social sensitivity and compassion for the weak,” said Cohen. “Our strength lies in our diversity. That has operational importance, but also moral power. We need women in every role at every level. I hope that in the future, we will see a female head of the Mossad. Forty percent of the people serving in the Mossad are women. We have also started integrating haredim and people with disabilities.”
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
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