Mossad Chief Warns Iran Weakened, but Still Targeting Israelis and Jews Worldwide

Mossad chief says Israel has recently thwarted dozens of terror attacks globally ■ Iran announces new drone 'designed to hit Israel's Tel Aviv, Haifa'

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In this photo released by the Iranian Army on August 25, a drone is launched in a military drone drill in Iran.
In this photo released by the Iranian Army on August 25, a drone is launched in a military drone drill in Iran.Credit: AP

The Israeli Mossad chief said Monday Iran continues to attack Israelis and Jews worldwide and that Israel has "recently thwarted dozens of terrorist attacks abroad." Also on Monday, Iran announced it had developed an advanced long-range suicide drone "designed to hit Israel's Tel Aviv, Haifa," according to the semi-official Mehr News, quoting Iran’s ground forces chief.

Head of Mossad David Barnea at Reichman University, Herzliya this monthCredit: Gilad Kavalerchik

Mossad head David Barnea, in a speech at a terror policy conference at Reichman University, said that Iran is weakened but that it is still leading "a worldwide campaign to harm Israelis and Jews, just because they are Israelis and Jews." Barnea said that the talks on returning to the nuclear agreement are being conducted at a time when Iran is "expanding its activities in the field of terrorism, and not only against Israelis."

Barnea said the nuclear talks "do not constitute a restraining factor in any way. On the contrary, terrorist activity is also expanding to the soil of the United States and Europe." He mentioned that Israel has recently foiled terrorist attacks in Cyprus, Turkey and Colombia, among others.

Barnea also said the nuclear deal with Iran will bring the country closer to "realizing its strategic vision of obtaining nuclear weapons." Also on Monday, the Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani urged the IAEA not to yield to Israel's pressure.

On Sunday, Haaretz reported that Israel does not believe the Iran agreement has been taken completely off the table, even despite major disputes between Iran and Western powers, according to an Israeli diplomatic official. The source added that Iran was ready to cooperate with the UN watchdog.

The official also said he believes the agreement might only come to fruition after the midterm elections in the United States in November. Israel is now working, mainly behind the scenes, with senators and Congress members in an attempt to persuade them to support its positions on the matter.

Iran's statement on developing a new attack drone comes three days after the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that the Ministry of Intelligence and Security directs several networks of cyber threat actors, including those involved in cyber espionage and ransomware attacks in support of Iran.

"Iran’s cyberattacks targeting civilian government services and critical infrastructure sectors can cause grave damage to these services and disregard norms of responsible peacetime state behavior in cyberspace," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday.

Also last week, the Treasury Department announced that it is levying sanctions against four Iranian companies that it says were involved in sending drones to Russia last month for use in Moscow’s war against Ukraine.

“Russia is making increasingly desperate choices to continue its unprovoked war against Ukraine, particularly in the face of our unprecedented sanctions and export controls,” said Brian Nelson, under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence “The United States is committed to strictly enforcing our sanctions against both Russia and Iran and holding accountable Iran and those supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Separately, Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson said Monday that Tehran has entered talks with Saudi Arabia without preconditions and expects a constructive approach from Riyadh.

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