(May 1, 2018 / Makor Rishon) Talks revealed by a senior political source indicate that the huge intelligence information about the Iranian nuclear project reached Israel in February. With the arrival of the information, the Israeli intelligence system began an enormous effort to decipher the 100,000 documents. After the translation and analysis of some of the material, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his main points to U.S. President Donald Trump at a meeting in early March.
Following the meeting, Israel gave the intelligence material to the CIA, and since then, the Americans have been working on its resolution. At the same time, Israel continued to translate the half-ton’s worth of documents in order to publish their content before May 12, when Trump is to decide whether to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.
Israel refused to give operational details about the way the material was obtained and brought there. However, a political source revealed that Israel discovered about a year ago the existence of the archive, which only a few people in Iran even knew about. After the discovery, preparations began for the operation to steal the archive, which apparently took place at the end of February.
An intelligence source explained, “This is a huge amount of material, and there has never been such a huge amount of new material, and it is a huge treasure and a very complex professional and technical challenge.” The same source stressed that “the material is very new in relation to what we knew in the past.”
According to this source, the Israeli leader did not present the most secret information available in the archives, so as not to damage intelligence work. He added that the publication of the information disclosed by Netanyahu was made by the heads of the intelligence establishment “until the last stop.”
A political source added that “a handful of people in Iran knew of the existence of the archive. They tried to compartmentalize it as much as they could, and they made tremendous efforts to hide the material after the signing of the nuclear agreement in 2015. The concealment shows how important they were.”
In addition to disclosing the information, Israel began a process of disseminating it worldwide.
Netanyahu spoke with the leaders of Russia, France and Germany and invited them to review the information that Israel revealed. A delegation of British intelligence is scheduled to arrive in Israel this weekend for this purpose. China has also been offered to review the material.
The prime minister added that the material that was discovered “turned the question marks into exclamation marks and proved the suspicions that existed over the years, which, contrary to its denials, Iran sought to develop nuclear weapons.”
Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabat concluded that the material found “confirms the diagnosis that Iran sought to obtain nuclear weapons, and [that] the agreement is intended to be the cure for this disease, but the question of whether the drug is suitable—or that an inappropriate drug is [being] used—is also causing side effects.”