The Mossad Operation That Took Iran’s Secret Nuclear Documents

By Faye Higbee

In January of this year, a Mossad operation stole a half ton of secret nuclear files from a warehouse in Tehran. In April, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the treasure trove of documents that proved Iran was lying about their nuclear program. But at a briefing this last week by Israeli intelligence,  it was learned that the operation itself was something that could have been written by the author of a spy novel.

A 6 Hour, 29 Minute Window to Steal Project Amad

Project Amad was reportedly the name of the secret nuclear program, the documents for which were kept in a unobtrsuvie warehouse. Iran was not as careful as they should have been- they did not station guards on the warehouse during certain times to avoid drawing attention to the facility. They only trusted their alarm systems. But as any good thief knows, alarm systems can be bypassed when you know what you’re doing. And Mossad seriously knows what they’re doing.

In an operation described as rivaling the movie “Ocean’s 11,” on January 31, they breached the facility, opened the safes, snagged the documents, and left.  The documents were bulky, so the operatives only took what they believed were the most important ones. Paper binders and computer discs…how they got them out of Iran is still unknown.

Of course, Iran was “smarting” after the breach and immediately started claiming the documents were forged.   The Washington Post wrote,

“To counter Iranian claims that the documents are forgeries, Israeli officials allowed journalists to see and touch — with gloves — a few pages of original files, including handwritten notes signed by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Iranian physicist who Western intelligence agencies say was in charge of Project Amad. Journalists were given copies of some documents, including several that were previously unpublished. Others were shown only briefly or not at all, on the grounds that they contained explicit technical details that could be used to make nuclear weapons.”

Screenshot – Iranian chamber allegedly used by Iran to test implosion devices of the kind used to detonate a nuclear bomb. (Government of Israel)

Screenshots -Iran’s Flash X-ray equipment used in developing the core of a nuclear bomb. The equipment does have non-weapon uses. (Government of Israel)

The lies

Israeli officials have been going through the documents. Some of the  nuclear warhead designs were provided to Iran by a “foreign source.” No one specified to journalists whether it was a nation-state or an independent person. There were nuclear warhead designs within the documents, something Iran has denied.

According to Fox News, though the US knew of their nuclear program, the actual “sophistication” and progress of their research was unknown. The documents revealed how hard Iran worked to keep their nuclear program alive, even after international inspections came about. The information also revealed the operation of a secret explosives factory that had been the subject of an intense search.

“We see explicit material related to nuclear weapons from different sources, some of it not Iranian in origin.” Israeli intelligence

Iran itself continues to deny that they would ever leave their documents unguarded or that they ever had the designs for a nuclear bomb, calling the whole Mossad operation and resulting finds “laughable.”

Who will have the last laugh? It won’t be Iran.


Featured photo: screenshot via WaPo