The outgoing head of the Israeli spy agency Mossad has given an interview about the country’s operations against Iran. Yossi Cohen led Mossad for more than five years. Mr. Cohen retired as the head of Mossad last week. Yossi Cohen gave details about the theft of Iran’s nuclear archive. The warehouse raid in 2018 ferried tens of thousands of documents out of the country to Israel.
He also hinted at Israeli involvement in the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facility, and the assassination of a nuclear scientist. He spoke to a journalist on Channel 12’s Uvda documentary program, which was broadcast on Israeli television on Thursday night. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu appointed Cohen as Mossad chief in late 2015. He joined the agency in 1982 and told the program he had had hundreds of passports throughout his career.
Mr. Netanyahu revealed stolen files at a press conference in 2018, which he said proved Iran’s efforts to make nuclear weapons. Mr. Cohen said in the interview that it took two years to plan the operation. In total 20 Mossad agents were involved on the ground. None of them were Israeli citizens.
Israel has spoken openly about taking those thousands of documents. But Mr. Cohen also hinted at Mossad’s involvement in other operations long rumored to have been the work of Israeli agents.
In the interview, Mr. Cohen spoke about the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz. Iran said that sabotage caused a fire at the uranium enrichment site in July 2020. After revealing new equipment in April this year, officials again said it had been sabotaged and had suffered major damage. Iran accused Israel of “nuclear terrorism” over the incident. Natanz is a uranium enrichment facility south of the Iranian capital Tehran.
Mr. Cohen said that he knew the site well and that he could take her to the cellar where the spinning centrifuges are located. And he also spoke about Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Iran’s top nuclear scientist was assassinated on a road outside Tehran last November. The ex-Mossad chief did not confirm or deny involvement in the death. But he said the scientist was a target for many years, adding that his scientific knowledge concerned the agency. “If the man constitutes a capability that endangers the citizens of Israel, he must stop existing,” he was quoted as saying.