Mossad chief David Barnea

Mossad head vows Iran will never have nuclear weapons

As talks in Vienna to resurrect 2015 nuclear deal continue, David Barnea says Israel finds the possibility of a 'bad' deal between Tehran and world powers 'intolerable'

Yuval Karni |
Published: 12.02.21, 20:55
Mossad chief David Barnea said on Thursday that the agency will take any action needed in order to ensure Iran will not come into possession of nuclear weapons.
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  • "Iran will not have nuclear weapons — not in the coming years, not ever. That is my promise, that is Mossad’s promise," he said at a ceremony honoring exceptional agents alongside Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Issac Herzog.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    בנימין נתניהו עם ראש המוסד היוצא יוסי כהן וראש המוסד הנכנס דוד ברנע
    בנימין נתניהו עם ראש המוסד היוצא יוסי כהן וראש המוסד הנכנס דוד ברנע
    Mossad chief David Barnea
    (Photo: GPO)
    His comments came as Iran and major powers are trying, in talks in Vienna, to revive a 2015 deal under which Tehran limited its nuclear program in exchange for relief from U.S., EU and UN economic sanctions.
    The United States withdrew from the pact in 2018, during the administration of then-President Donald Trump, and Iran responded by violating the agreement's limits.
    "Our eyes are open, we are prepared, and we will do with our partners in the security establishment everything that is necessary to alleviate the threat against Israel and thwart it by any means."
    Barnea said that a "bad" deal between Iran and the world power will be intolerable
    The top spy said there was no need for any country to have three nuclear sites able to enrich uranium to 60%, for anything other than military purposes and the production of a nuclear weapon.
    Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett urged world powers to halt nuclear talks with Iran immediately, citing a UN watchdog's announcement that Tehran has started producing enriched uranium with more advanced centrifuges.
    "Iran is carrying out nuclear blackmail as a negotiating tactic, and this should be answered by the immediate halt to negotiations and the implementation of tough steps by the world powers," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office quoted him as saying in a call with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    שיחות הגרעין בווינה
    שיחות הגרעין בווינה
    World powers meet in Vienna with Iranian delegation on return to the 2015 nuclear deal
    (Photo: Reuters)
    An Israeli official said Bennett told Blinken of his objections to any lifting of sanctions against Iran, particularly under an interim deal, which would effectively mean "the massive flow of funds to the Iranian regime".
    "Iran is carrying out nuclear blackmail as a negotiating tactic, and this should be answered by the immediate halt to negotiations and the implementation of tough steps by the world powers," the prime minister said according to an official statement released by his office.
    Blinken told reporters during his visit to Stockholm that Iran's intentions in the talks will become clear within days.
    "I have to tell you, recent moves, recent rhetoric, don't give us a lot of cause for ... optimism. But even though the hour is getting very late, it is not too late for Iran to reverse course and engage meaningfully," he added.



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