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Israel: no agreement grants Iran immunity from Mossad operations

Jewish settlers wave Israeli flags during a gathering in a parking lot near Palestinian Salem's house, who were facing imminent expulsion, after the court ruled four Palestinian families to remain in their houses in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem on 2 March 2022. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli settlers wave Israeli flags in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem on 2 March 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

The head of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, said today that the international agreement with Iran over its nuclear programme does not give the latter "immunity" from his agency's operations. David Barnea told a conference at Herzliya's Reichman University, in his first speech since becoming head of the intelligence agency, that "even if a deal is signed, it will not provide immunity from Mossad operations."

He was quoted by the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation as adding, "The nuclear talks are not a restraining factor in any way; on the contrary. Terror activity is expanding both on US soil and in Europe, and this is during the negotiations in Vienna… Attempts are being made to harm American officials on US soil."

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Barnea visited the US last week to present the Israeli position on the nuclear agreement with Iran. He said that he "presented the consequences of signing the deal which would pump $90 billion dollars into Iran's treasury in the first year and dozens more every year after that. No country comes close to such a big increase in its national product." He posed the question of how much will be allocated to terrorism and how much will be allocated to strengthening Iran's proxies in Lebanon or to the Quds Force that wants to control areas in Syria?

The Mossad chief added that he warned friends in the US that the deal is only useful in the short-term but dangerous in the medium and long-term, and threatened to continue Mossad operations in Iran.

"We do not participate in this game of closing our eyes, and we do not turn our eyes from the proven truth. We know the Iranian vision," he pointed out. "We will not take part in this charade. We will not close our eyes to the proven truth. The Iranian regime will have no immunity."

Mossad has apparently thwarted dozens of terrorist attacks against Israelis abroad, which were already on the verge of being carried out, said Barnea.

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Israel largely opposes the planned agreement between Iran and world powers, including the US. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid tweeted that his country is "conducting a successful diplomatic campaign to stop the nuclear agreement" with Iran to prevent the lifting of economic sanctions.

For months, diplomats from Iran, Washington and five other countries have been negotiating in the Austrian capital Vienna for a deal to restore restrictions on Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. The sanctions were re-imposed by former US President Donald Trump after he withdrew his country from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action deal in May 2018.

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