ANALYSIS: Israeli Intelligence and the covert war against Iran

String of mysterious explosions at facilities in Iran - likely the work of the Mossad - have set back Iran's nuclear program back by months.

Tags: Iran
Yochanan Visser ,

Espionage (stock)
Espionage (stock)
ISTOCK

Israel’s intelligence-gathering capabilities are well-known and have become the most important tool in the covert war against Iran and her multiple proxies in the Middle East.

The continuing wave of mysterious explosions at nuclear-related Iranian sites and other sensitive military facilities in Iran over the last month was most likely the work of Israel’s military and the Israeli secret service Mossad.

The Mossad has an extensive network of spies in Iran as was proven by the daring raid on Iran’s secret nuclear archive in Tehran at the beginning of 2018 which led to the American withdrawal from the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

The recent explosion in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility where an assembly hall for new types of IR centrifuges was almost completely destroyed by an explosive device was probably also the work of the Mossad and its local accomplices.

The attack on Natanz has set back Iran’s nuclear weapons program by at least three months the Iranians admitted and that blast was followed this weekend by another mysterious explosion at a facility of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps near Tehran early Friday morning.

“There are two underground facilities, a site associated with chemical weapons research and an unidentified military production site,” an American weapons –and Iran expert told The New York Times about the area where the blast occurred.

The Iranians, however, immediately told the state-controlled media that no explosion had taken place or that the blast had taken place in a factory that is producing gas cylinders depending on which Iranian official you ask.

The mayor of Garmdareh, a town near the IRGC base was quoted as saying by Iranian media that an “explosion at a factory making gas cylinders” had taken place - but Iranian independent media outlets discovered that the mayor had died a year ago and had said this about an event that took place before his death.

Iran seems to have no clue about who is targeting its military and nuclear sites or how the attacks have been carried out but routinely blames Israel for the mysterious explosions.

No arrests have been made and precise information about the scope of the damage caused by the sabotage is coming from foreign experts who base themselves often on satellite images which were taken after the event.

In the case of the Natanz explosion, the images revealed that two-thirds of the facility where Iran was working on its new IR-8 and IR-9 centrifuges has been destroyed by a powerful bomb.

The Mossad must have a large network of local spies in Iran and not as a new popular TV series called “Tehran is here already” suggests is working with Israeli agents who enter the country and then carry out a mission alone.

Arab media last week revealed how the Mossad also infiltrated the Syrian regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad and even before he rose to power after the death of his father Hafez.

Zamanalwsl.net revealed how from at least 1995 the Israelis planted spy devices in the offices of high-ranking Syrian military officials and eavesdropped conversations with others in the Syrian regime.

“Mossad operations were able to infiltrate high-profile branches of the regime including the ministry of defense and important military units and security systems, which were concealed by Bashar al-Assad in fear of scandal,” the news site revealed.

Zamanalwsl.net based its report on an unnamed Syrian source who worked for years in the Military Intelligence Division branch 211 of Assad’s regime who said his department had discovered Israeli spying devices in many offices of Syrian officers.

The Mossad also infiltrated the Syrian Defense Ministry where it also planted spying devices that transmitted crucial intelligence to Israel via satellites.

A routine check by the Syrian security forces led to the discovery of a number of strange-looking devices that were used by the Mossad to intercept communications between two Syrian airports. The bug had been transmitting information for more than two and a half years.

The same happened in 2008, when during another routine inspection a spying device that was planted in the ceiling of the office of the commander of the 155th Brigade, in Al-Qutayfa during the construction of the building, was discovered.

During another routine inspection “a technical inspection team discovered a signal in one of the chimney columns inside the office of 1st Corps commander, now Defense Minister, Major General Ali Ayoub. The team dug into the column and found a recording and transmission device installed in the cement,” Zaman al Wasl reported.

The device had been transmitting information on the first Corps of the Syrian army for more than three years.

In 2013, a Syrian fisherman discovered a sophisticated high-resolution camera between rocks at the seashore of an island near the port city of Tartus in Syria that was used to spy on the nearby Yakhont missile base and to send images to an Israeli satellite.

The Syrian source that revealed this information said that until 2011 22 spying devices were discovered but estimated that Israel, and perhaps other countries too, have doubled this number since the beginning of the Syrian war.

The revelations by Zalman al Wasl preceded a report about Israeli intelligence infiltrating the ranks of the military arm of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al Qassam Brigades.

A senior naval commander of the Gaza-based terror group succeeded to escape Gaza via the Mediterranean Sea with a laptop, surveillance equipment, “classified dangerous documents” and cash where he was picked up by an Israeli marine vessel, according to Palestinian media.

It was the second time in recent months Hamas was forced to admit one of its top commanders had been caught spying for Israel. The first one nicknamed “Mahmoud” was in charge of telecommunication networks in Gaza and has been arrested by Hamas.

These ‘collaborators”, as Hamas calls them, are facing capital punishment if they are caught by the Sunni terrorist organization.


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