Mossad chief '100% certain' Iran seeks nuclear bomb

Apr 06, 2018, 07:50 IST | Agencies

The comments by Yossi Cohen added an influential voice to a global debate over Iran's nuclear programme ahead of a deadline set by President Donald Trump for toughening the deal

Benjamin Netanyahu with Mossad head Yossi Cohen. Pic/AFP
Benjamin Netanyahu with Mossad head Yossi Cohen. Pic/AFP

Jerusalem: The head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency is "100 per cent certain" that Iran remains committed to developing a nuclear bomb and believes the international community must change or scrap its nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

The comments by Yossi Cohen added an influential voice to a global debate over Iran's nuclear programme ahead of a deadline set by President Donald Trump for toughening the deal. Trump, like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been a fierce critic of the 2015 nuclear deal. Trump has set a mid-May deadline to reach agreement with the European nations to toughen restrictions on Iran.

If the US and the Europeans can't agree on new punishments that are to Trump's liking, he will withdraw from the deal and re-impose US sanctions on Tehran, the White House has said. With the clock ticking, Cohen has been holding discussions on the matter and delivered his assessment in a recent closed meeting with senior officials, according to a person who attended the meeting. Cohen's analysis signalled Israeli support for Trump's efforts.

Cohen called the nuclear deal a "terrible mistake," saying it allows Iran to keep key elements of its nuclear program intact and will remove other restraints in a few years. "Then Iran will be able to enrich enough uranium for an arsenal of nuclear bombs," Cohen said, according to the meeting participant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a classified security matter. Cohen also criticised the deal's easing of sanctions, saying it has resulted in "significantly increased" aggression by Iran, and noted Iran's continued development of long-range ballistic missiles

Iran angers Israel
Benjamin Netanyahu hit out at Iran after President Hassan Rouhani accused Israel of supporting "terrorists" in Syria. "Absurdity has no limits: Iran's terrorist regime that sends tentacles of terror across the region accuses Israel of terrorism," he said.

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