In one in every of his remaining days in workplace, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared to substantiate on Monday an Israeli operation carried out by Mossad brokers who broke right into a secret warehouse exterior Tehran and retrieved a trove of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear recordsdata.
“The secrets and techniques that the Zionists got here and took from inside [the country], revealed and confirmed to [former US president Donald] Trump [led him] to desert the [nuclear] settlement,” Rouhani informed authorities officers at a gathering coated by the official state Fars information company.
He went on to emphasize that he wasn’t commenting on whether or not the paperwork stolen in 2018 had been genuine.
“Then there was a struggle and the enemy dropped bombs on our folks,” Rouhani mentioned, showing to reference subsequent operations — allegedly carried out by Israel — towards Iran’s nuclear program, in addition to the sanctions instituted by Trump after he withdrew from the deal in 2018.
“As an alternative of cursing the one that dropped the bomb on the folks, those that sought to guard the nation had been attacked,” Rouhani claimed.
He added that Iran had additionally been shedding the general public relations struggle, lamenting “our media couldn’t defeat the conspiracy of the Zionist media.”
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicized the Mossad appropriation of roughly 110,000 paperwork in April 2018.
The company’s operatives reportedly broke into the constructing the place the trove was housed in January of that yr, eliminated the recordsdata and disks, and smuggled them again to Israel the identical evening.
The acquisition of the paperwork and recordsdata that had been seized, which proved that Iran had been working to develop nuclear weapons, was thought to have factored within the Trump administration’s choice to withdraw from the nuclear settlement in Might of that yr.
In 2019, Netanyahu confirmed a report that he had knowledgeable Trump of the Mossad’s plans to conduct the operation upfront, in addition to the idea that his choice to disclose the theft of the archive was an effort to persuade america to drop out of the nuclear take care of Iran.
“I accepted this operation out of the idea that exposing [Iranian] plans would help in persuading the president of america to depart the damaging nuclear settlement with Iran,” Netanyahu mentioned then. “Once I met [Trump] in Davos [in January 2018], I informed him that I plan to ship our folks to the guts of Tehran to carry again archive supplies.”
The prime minister mentioned he had “little question” that the operation and the contents of the archive had been key elements in Trump’s choice to depart the Iran nuclear deal.
The administration of Trump’s successor, US President Joe Biden, has been engaged in oblique negotiations with Iran in Vienna geared toward reviving the deal.
Nonetheless, the perimeters haven’t made important progress and can doubtless face extra hurdles as soon as Rouhani is changed by the extra hardline Ebrahim Raisi subsequent week.
Avi Davidi contributed to this report