HRS International

The Secret War Against the Mullahs

Ibn Warraq: Covert operations appear to have slowed down Iran's nuclear Program.

Ibn Warraq

After eight years as head of Israel’s Mossad Intelligence Agency, Meir Dagan is stepping down.

His two main objectives have been: preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and waging a covert shadow war against Israel’s axis of evil – Iran, Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas. Dagan’s work has been successful. For example, in recent years, Iranian scientists began to disappear. Equipment sent to Iran for its nuclear program arrived broken, likely sabotaged. Warehouses in Europe where equipment for Iran’s nuclear program was stored before being shipped went up in flames. In 2005, Iran was plagued by a number of mysterious plane crashes, killing dozens of Revolutionary Guard Corps officers, including several senior officers. All this was attributed, in the foreign press, to the Mossad.

Dagan was given one key task: to do everything possible to thwart Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Though they were preoccupied with Iran, Dagan’s Mossad did not forget the axis of evil.

Indeed, Dagan’s Mossad is credited with orchestrating a string of assassinations around the world: In February 2008, a car bomb killed Imad Mughniyeh, Hizbullah’s military commander in Damascus. Later that year, Gen. Muhammad Suleiman, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s liaison to Hamas and Hizbullah and the head of the country’s covert nuclear program, was shot dead by a sniper at his vacation home in the port city of Tartus. In January, the Mossad reportedly struck again, killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas arch terrorist, in Dubai.

According to foreign reports, the Mossad was also behind the discovery of Iran’s uranium enrichment centre in Natanz, as well as the discovery of Syria’s nuclear reactor, which was destroyed by the Israeli Air Force in 2007.

In an article in The New Republic, Eli Lake explained that the United States, even under Obama, and probably Great Britain and other western nations have also engaged in covert operations designed to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. For example, a Russian nuclear scientist on the CIA payroll was sent to Vienna to hand over flawed bomb design plans to the Iranians. As one specialist put it, «It seems to be clear that there is an active and imaginative sabotage program from several Western nations as well as Israel involving booby-trapping equipment which the Iranians are procuring, tricking black-market smugglers, cyber-operations, and recruiting scientists.»

There are a number of ways that the US and Israel has used to steer defective products to Iran. For example, the Mossad and CIA had a plan to sell a supposedly helpful chemical substance – which would, in fact, gum up centrifuges over time – to Iran on the black market. Then, there was the strange case of the Tinners, a Swiss family of engineers long believed to have worked with Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, who has been known to sell nuclear secrets to North Korea. In 2008, Urs Tinner admitted that he had been a CIA agent, and that he played a crucial role in an effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. The Tinners sold high-quality vacuum pumps to the Iranians and Libyans, but in fact these pumps, crucial for uranium enrichment, are defective and will break in operational conditions.

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