In late April 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israel’s Mossad had captured and removed from Iran a massive volume of secret Iranian nuclear files.

We covered Netanyahu’s public presentation, Netanyahu Reveals Newly Discovered and Damning Intel on Iran Nuclear Program:

The archives showed that Iran systematically had deceived the West about its nuclear program and goals, We can now conclusively say the Iran nuke deal was induced by fraud:

We now can conclusively say the Iran Nuclear Deal was induced by fraud by the Obama administration and the Mullah regime.

As a result, Iran is just biding its time, putting all the pieces into place to launch and deliver a nuclear weapon when the deal sunsets. We know that because of the archives obtained by Mossad.

But how did Mossad pull it off? We knew that the archives were taken from a warehouse in Tehran, but the details have just been revealed by Israeli officials to several publications. The details provided to the publications may be accurate, or partially accurate, with false information sprinkled among facts. It’s hard to believe the Israelis would have revealed anything the Iranians didn’t already know.

The NY Times reports, How Israel, in Dark of Night, Torched Its Way to Iran’s Nuclear Secrets:

The Mossad agents moving in on a warehouse in a drab commercial district of Tehran knew exactly how much time they had to disable the alarms, break through two doors, cut through dozens of giant safes and get out of the city with a half-ton of secret materials: six hours and 29 minutes.

The morning shift of Iranian guards would arrive around 7 a.m., a year of surveillance of the warehouse by the Israeli spy agency had revealed, and the agents were under orders to leave before 5 a.m. to have enough time to escape. Once the Iranian custodians arrived, it would be instantly clear that someone had stolen much of the country’s clandestine nuclear archive, documenting years of work on atomic weapons, warhead designs and production plans.

The agents arrived that night, Jan. 31, with torches that burned at least 3,600 degrees, hot enough, as they knew from intelligence collected during the planning of the operation, to cut through the 32 Iranian-made safes. But they left many untouched, going first for the ones containing the black binders, which contained the most critical designs. When time was up, they fled for the border, hauling some 50,000 pages and 163 compact discs of memos, videos and plans.

It is critical that Iran went to great lengths to conceal the archive, and it took a major operation to locate and remove it, the Times relates:

The warehouse the Israelis penetrated was put into use only after the 2015 accord was reached with the United States, European powers, Russia and China. That pact granted broad rights to the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit suspected nuclear sites, including on military bases.

So the Iranians, Israeli officials said in interviews, systematically went about collecting thousands of pages spread around the country documenting how to build a weapon, how to fit it on a missile and how to detonate it. They consolidated them at the warehouse, in a commercial district with no past relationship to the nuclear program, and far from the declared archives of the Ministry of Defense. There were no round-the-clock guards or anything else that would tip off neighbors, or spies, that something unusual was happening there.

What the Iranians did not know was that the Mossad was documenting the collection effort, filming the moves for two years, since the relocation began in February 2016. Last year, the spies began planning a heist that one senior Israeli intelligence official said bore a strong resemblance to George Clooney’s adventures in “Ocean’s 11.”

In most Mossad operations, spies aim to penetrate a facility and photograph or copy material without traces. But in this case, the Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, ordered that the material be stolen outright. That would drastically shorten the time that the agents — many, if not all, of them Iranians — spent inside the building. But the Israelis wanted to be able to counter Iranian claims that the material was forged and offer it up for examination by international groups.

Clearly, the Israeli spies had inside help. They had learned which of the 32 safes held the most important information. They watched the habits of the workers. They studied the workings of the alarm system, so that it would appear to be working even though it would not alert anyone when the agents arrived around 10:30 p.m.

For all the cinematics of the raid, the immediate aftermath was absent much drama. There was no chase, said Israeli officials, who would not disclose whether the documents left by land, air or sea — though an escape from the coast, just a few hours’ drive from Tehran, appears the least risky.

Fewer than two dozen agents took part in the break-in. Fearing that some of them would be caught, the Israelis removed the materials on several different routes. At exactly 7 a.m., as the Mossad expected, a guard arrived and discovered that the doors and safes were broken. He sounded the alarm, and the Iranian authorities soon began a nationwide campaign to locate the burglars — an effort that, according to an Israeli official, included “tens of thousands of Iranian security and police personnel.”

The operation is being compared to Ocean’s 11. Not having seen the movie, I can’t say. WaPo had a similar account of the operation to that in the NY Times:

Israeli intelligence officials said they learned in early 2017 that Iran had begun systematically gathering records on the country’s past nuclear weapons research and relocating them to a single repository in southern Tehran’s Shorabad district. The building, in a row of industrial warehouses, had no visible security presence or other features that might have tipped off an observer that it contained something unusual. Only a small number of Iranians apparently even knew of its existence, said an Israeli intelligence officer briefed on the details.

“We wanted to know: What are they hiding, and what for?” the officer said. “Once we learned where the records were going, we prepared an operations team to acquire them.”

Mossad agents were able learn the internal layout of the building, including the location and general contents of 32 safes that contained paper records, photos and computer-storage files from “Project Amad,” the code name for Iran’s nuclear project. The spies studied the building’s security features and tracked the movements and schedules of the workers who maintained the archive. Eventually they settled on a date — Jan. 31 — and a time window of exactly six hours, 29 minutes, in which they believed they could breach the facility, open the safes and remove half a ton of documents without being detected.

Because some of the material was too bulky to carry, the operatives opened only the safes that they thought contained the most valuable material, and then took away only the most important files. The techniques in the procedure were vaguely described as unusual, and in the vein of “Ocean’s Eleven,” the Hollywood film about a heist at a Las Vegas casino. How the vast trove of paper binders and computer disks was spirited out of the country is not publicly known.

The coordinated dissemination of these details by Israeli officials to major publications obviously serves some purpose, but what that purpose is is not certain. It could be that Israel wanted the information out on the eve of the Trump-Putin meeting, or to have it public as Israel nears a greater confrontation with Iran in Syria.


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