Security sources in Tel Aviv revealed Friday that 27 years ago, the Mossad managed to plant one of its agents near Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and was able to record his voice while talking about the military nuclear project.
The source said the agent was able to get near Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated in Tehran last Friday, in 1993.
According to a report by expert on security affairs Ronen Bergman published in Yedioth Ahronoth on Friday, plans to launch attacks against nuclear facilities in Iran had been developed during the term of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, when Ehud Barak was Minister of Security.
Bergman said that at the time that Mossad obtained a recording with the voice of Fakhrizadeh, in which he talks about a secret military nuclear program. Bergman wrote that Olmert and Barak briefed former US President George W. Bush on Israeli plans to attack Iran in April 2008, when he visited Israel to participate in the celebrations of the sixtieth anniversary of its founding.
Bush had received a report on these plans from the US intelligence, and had discussed them with his national security adviser Steve Hadley.
According to the report, during a festive dinner, Bush, Olmert, Hadley and Barak entered a side room, and Barak asked to provide his army with vertical landing combat aircraft, as well as smart bombs.
“Bush pointed his finger at me, and said, 'This guy is frightening me,” Bergman quoted Barak as saying.
The US President then said: “I want you to know our official position. The United States strongly opposes the possibility that Israel will take action against the infrastructure of the Iranian nuclear program.”
Olmert tried to persuade further the US President by making him listen to a recording of Fakhrizadeh’s voice speaking of Iran's secret military nuclear program.
Bergman adds that Olmert, who realized that Bush would not provide Israel with the weapons it requested, decided to make another request, which is full intelligence cooperation between Israel and the United States.
“Bush agreed,” Bergman wrote, also quoting officials in the Israeli intelligence services as saying, "This is a structural moment: The United States and Israel have never cooperated on any intelligence issue, just as they did on the Iranian nuclear issue."
Mossad prepared a report on Fakhrizadeh in 1993. At the time, an officer in the Mossad, known as "Calan", managed to recruit an agent, who transferred to Israel information on the Iranian scientist. Bergman revealed that Calan is practically the current head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen.
The Mossad had compiled a list of Iranian nuclear scientists, headed by Fakhrizadeh, and Olmert had approved his assassination.
However, Bergman wrote that Israel asked for the assassination to be postponed because the Iranians discovered that the Israelis were about to carry it out.
He said the issue of Fakhrizadeh’s assassination was raised again only in 2015, when the Mossad warned that the administration of US President Barack Obama was conducting negotiations with Iran on a nuclear deal.