David Barnea, the head of the Israeli Mossad during a ceremony in Tel Aviv, January 16, 2023

Israel Ready For Attacks On Iran’s Top Officials In Tehran

Sunday, 09/10/2023

Mossad Director David Barnea says Israel is ready to launch attacks on senior Iranian officials if necessary to defend itself from the regime’s threats.

Speaking at an annual conference of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism Policy (ICT) at Reichman University in Herzliya, Barnea explained that proxies are Iran's way to conceal its terrorist activities. However, he emphasized that the Islamic Republic is practically responsible for everything, including terrorist acts, logistics, funding, and support for militant groups, all directed from the highest levels of leadership.

"The time has come to make Iran pay in a different manner," he declared. Barnea emphasized that any harm to Israelis or Jews, whether through proxies or Iranian weapons smuggled into Israel, would prompt Israel to take action against Iranians, "from ground-level operatives to the highest-ranking officials. I mean that," he emphasized. "These consequences will reach deep into Iran, even into the heart of Tehran," Barnea warned.

The spy agency, along with its allies in the international intelligence community, thwarted 27 attacks against Jews and Israelis abroad over the past year, he revealed. "The captured squads and the weapons seized alongside them all had specific targets," he said. "All of this was under Iran's direction and guidance. We are currently working to track Iranian squads to prevent them from harming Jews and Israelis worldwide."

David Barnea, the head of the Israeli Mossad, speaking at an annual conference of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism Policy (ICT) at Reichman University in Herzliya on September 10, 2023

Barnea also noted that these attempts occurred "across the globe, in Europe, Africa, the Far East, and South America." He presented videos showing the capture and interrogation of Iranian terrorist operatives by Mossad agents in Tanzania and Cyprus, two of the countries where such individuals were apprehended. Other countries on this list included Georgia, Greece, and Germany.

The videos used by Barnea in his presentation were also released by Iran International in late March. They featured an officer from Iran's Intelligence Ministry's unit 853, known as Hamidreza Abraheh or Hamid Salari. In the video, which appeared to be an interrogation or confession session, he disclosed the Islamic Republic's efforts to recruit agents from Africa's Baluch minority for terrorist operations in Tanzania.

Another video presented by the Mossad chief during the event showcased confessions from another Iranian agent named Yousef Shahbazi Abbasalilo. An IRGC intelligence operative, he was involved in a hit operation in Cyprus. The video, released in June, revealed Abbasalilo's account of entering Cyprus through the Turkish-occupied north, his surveillance of the initial assassination target, and his preparation and concealment of the weapon.

"All of this is under Iran's direction and guidance. We are currently working to track Iranian squads to prevent them from targeting Jews and Israelis worldwide," he stated.

Barnea also briefed the participants on the structure of Iran's intelligence community, using a chart that featured IRGC Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami and Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib at the top.

Israel’s Mossad Director David Barnea sharing a chart about the structure of Iran’s intelligence community during an event on September 10, 2023

The Mossad director further claimed that Israel has thwarted multiple deals in which Iranians planned to sell short-range and long-range missiles to Russia, along with the UAVs they previously supplied for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "I have a sense that more such deals will be intercepted soon. We are concerned that Russia may meet Iran's demands for advanced weapons and raw materials, which could pose a threat to our peace and even our existence here," he added, hinting at the issue of nuclear weapons.

Barnea referred to the expiration of the UN arms embargo on Iran next month under the 2015 nuclear agreement, emphasizing that Iran would take advantage of this opportunity to acquire weapons more affordably. He cautioned that the world needs to recognize the danger posed by a terrorist state aspiring to become a nuclear power.

Iran's Defense Minister Ashtiani claimed earlier this month that all arms embargoes imposed on Iran are set to expire soon, expressing eagerness to expand military ties. European Union ballistic missile sanctions are scheduled to expire on October 18 under the UN resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal. However, European diplomats are considering retaining these sanctions.

He also criticized the US government for its secret agreement with Iran, granting the regime access to billions of dollars that had been frozen due to sanctions, in exchange for the release of five American hostages. Barnea pointed out that Iran is regaining its funds without relinquishing its nuclear progress, highlighting Tehran's failure to respond to IAEA monitroring demands and questions regarding the regime's nuclear violations.

On Saturday, Iran's Intelligence Minister claimed during a TV interview that the fight against Israel is one of the ministry's top priorities. He asserted that the main intelligence services operating against the Islamic Republic are those of England, Israel, and the United States, which also coordinate and direct the activities of other services.

Without specifying a time frame, Khatib added that the intelligence ministry has thwarted 400 bombing operations in the country, with 40 bombs planned to be detonated during religious gatherings in the Islamic holy month of Muharram, which ended in mid-August.

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