The Mossad Director’s Threat to Iran Was Meant as a Message to the U.S.

Sept. 18 2023

In a recent public speech, David Barnea, the head of Israel’s vaunted intelligence agency, did something very unusual: he declared that his organization was ready to strike “deep in Iran, in the very heart of Tehran,” if the Islamic Republic harmed Israeli citizens. As a rule, high-ranking Israeli security officials, and especially those associated with the Mossad, avoid making explicit threats of this sort. Meir Ben-Shabbat believes that Barnea’s words weren’t directed at Tehran at all, but at Washington:

The U.S. administration under President Biden, which has sought to lower the profile of the Iranian problem and to remove the danger of a military confrontation with it as far as possible, is now seeing the tangible results of its policy: a growing sense of confidence in Iran, leading to defiant activity on its nuclear program [and its] providing aid to Russia in the form of supplying Moscow with drones for its combat effort in Ukraine—compounded by a significant increase in its efforts to promote acts of terrorism around the globe, owing to a feeling that it will not be required to pay any real price for all of this.

The Mossad chief’s speech, only a few days prior to the arrival of the prime minister in the U.S. for a meeting with Biden and attendance at the UN General Assembly, constitutes a good preparation for these two key events. For understandable reasons, Barnea did not point an accusatory finger at our good friends in Washington, but as the popular [Middle Eastern] idiom has it—he “shouted at the tree so that the camel might hear.”

Although tough Israeli talk on the Iranian issue might not go down too well with those U.S. administration officials, who are currently working hard to establish normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, it does accurately reflect the situation that has developed under the auspices of their policy and will serve to clarify Israel’s current priority: neutralizing the existential threat posed by Iran, [which, in Jerusalem’s view, rightly] takes precedence even over normalization with Saudi Arabia.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship

Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy