Head of the Mossad at the ICT annual World Summit

12 September

Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT)

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Head of the Mossad at the annual World Summit of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at Reichman University: “Even though it is weakened, Iran is leading a worldwide campaign to harm Jews and Israelis, simply because they are Jews and Israelis. We have recently foiled dozens of terrorist attacks.”


In his remarks, Head of the Mossad David Barnea emphasized Iran’s terrorist activity: “Over the last decade, terrorism has been a central focus of our work. Iranian terrorism has always been present, and has preoccupied many Mossad officials before me, but it is even more present in today's discourse. Terrorism is an inseparable part of the Iranian threat in many countries around the world. This is a regime that bases its rule on intimidation and violence and espouses violence as a legitimate measure. This is state terrorism carried out upon the explicit orders of the leader. Terrorism is perpetrated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other Iranian intelligence organizations. It is not spontaneous; it is planned, systematic, state terrorism – strategic terrorism. The leader of Iran orders the expansion of nuclear activities, supports terrorist organizations and spreads terrorism around the world. Terrorism must not be regarded as serving any lofty goals but as having one goal – to buy the regime power, control, and a way of silencing its opponents. Terrorism is used to upset the regional balance of power. On the international level, Iran uses terrorism as substitute for democracy, for extortion and as a bargaining chip. The Iranian regime violates international law while cynically exploiting Islam.”


Barnea noted the dozens of Iranian attacks that have recently been thwarted: “Even though it is weakened, Iran is leading a worldwide campaign to harm Jews and Israelis, simply because they are Jews and Israelis. We have recently foiled dozens of terrorist attacks. In Cyprus, an attack on businesspeople was foiled, in Turkey we stopped an attack on a businessman and a diplomat, and in Colombia we thwarted an attack on Israeli businesspeople. In each of these cases, the attackers were caught with their weapons in hand, and during their interrogation they revealed the targets of their attempted attacks. The IRGC’s intelligence sent three different cells simultaneously to kill every Israeli without distinction. Thanks to high-quality intelligence, the professionalism of the Mossad employees, and full cooperation with the security agencies, we were able to foil terrorist attacks just before the trigger was pulled against innocent Israelis and civilians.”

Discussing the ongoing talks on a possible nuclear agreement with Iran, Barnea emphasized that they “are not a restraining factor in any way. On the contrary, terrorist activity is being carried out and expanding to the United States and Europe, while the negotiations in Vienna are going on. Bold and fearless attempts are being made to harm American officials on US soil, including the former national security adviser, the former secretary of state, opponents of the Iranian regime and human rights activists. From the point of view of the Iranians, this is proof that it is possible to separate and maintain a civilized discourse on the nuclear agreement with a deceptive Western appearance, on the one hand, and on the other hand, to plan terrorist acts against senior American officials and citizens. This artificial separation will continue to exist for as long as the world allows it to.”


Barnea also added: “This operation via ‘remote control’ is not only an operative preference. It is a consistent policy and demand by Iran's leader Khamenei, which fulfills a strategic need to provide Iran with room for denial. In his view, in the absence of the ability to link this activity to Iran, and of course without any diplomatic determination to bridge the gap, the regime is absolved of guilt and can play a game with the rest of the world according to Iranian rules. This room for denial provides Iran with immunity, which allows it to continue to engage in terrorism in an unrestrained manner. One can only imagine how Iran will act when the agreement is already signed, when it will not be under diplomatic pressure and all the barriers will have been removed.”


The Mossad director also referred to his meeting in the US last week: “Last week, in the United States, I presented the implications of signing the agreement. As I warned the US, signing the nuclear agreement means that the terrorist regime will immediately receive about 6 billion dollars, on top of 90 billion dollars in the first year and many tens of billions more in the following years. Let's assume that only a small part of these additional funds will go to terrorism: even then, our challenge – and that of the whole world – to prevent terrorist acts will be enormous. This is one of the clear weaknesses of the agreement. The agreement will actually bring Iran closer to realizing its nuclear program – it is effective in the short term, but very dangerous in the long term.”


Barnea concluded his remarks by saying, “It is important for me to emphasize that we are not taking part in this charade and turning a blind eye – we do not close our eyes to the proven truth. We rely on facts; we know the Iranian vision and we see it being realized in practice. Therefore, even if the agreement is signed, Iran will have no immunity from the actions of the Mossad. As the head of the Mossad, I want to make it clear: the Iranian regime does not and will not have room for denial. The Mossad and its partners have exposed and will continue to expose those in Tehran behind the terrorist attacks. The Iranian regime does not have and will not have room for immunity. The Mossad will continue to exact justice from all those involved in the terrorist attacks, from the perpetrators to the decision makers. The Iranian leadership must be aware that the use of force against Israel or Israelis, directly or via proxies, will be met with a painful response against those responsible, on Iranian soil.”


For the full speech of the head of the Mossad at the conference: