“Our security challenges are very great, and at the top of the list is Iran,” said incoming Mossad director David Barnea at his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.

“We need to say it loudly and clearly: Iran is working at this very moment to realize its nuclear dream under the cover of international protection,” said Barnea. “Under the protection of the [2015 nuclear] agreement and without it, with lies and concealment, Iran is in a constant state of advancing its plan to create weapons of mass destruction,” he added.

Referring to the fifth round of talks in Vienna between world powers and Iran to negotiate a return to the 2015 deal, said that the emerging agreement only increased Israel’s “feeling of isolation,” but that Israel reserved its right to freedom of action and would not operate by “majority rule” as the majority wouldn’t be the ones to pay the price for their mistake.

The new Mossad chief’s remarks echoed those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said at the event that if the choice is between friction with the United States or dealing with the existential Iranian threat, Israel would be forced to clash with “our great friend.”

Barnea promised that the “arm of the Mossad” would continue to operate with full force against the Iranian nuclear program.

“We’re well familiar with the nuclear program and its different parts. We personally know the workers involved in it and those directing them,” he said.

David Barnea, 56, served in the Israel Defense Forces’ elite General Staff Reconnaissance Unit. From 2019 until the present, he has served as Mossad deputy director. He succeeds Yossi Cohen, who served as Mossad director for the past five-and-a-half years.

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