Reports detail Mossad raid on Iranian nuclear documents

An Iranian security man stands next to journalists outside the reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran on August 21, 2010 during a ceremony initiating the transfer of Russia-supplied fuel to the facility after more than three decades of delay. (File photo AFP)
Updated 16 July 2018
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Reports detail Mossad raid on Iranian nuclear documents

JERUSALEM: New details have been leaked of how the Israeli spy agency Mossad smuggled out Iranian nuclear documents earlier this year, but the material does not appear to provide evidence that Iran failed to abide by its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.
The information reported Sunday shed more light on the daring Mossad operation but offered few other details beyond what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in April, when he unveiled what he said was a trove of secret Iranian nuclear documents dating back to 2003 seized by Israeli intelligence.
The Israeli leader argued that the 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs of the Iranian program dubbed "Project Amad" provided more reason for President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran maintains the entire document trove is fraudulent
The New York Times reported Sunday that Israeli agents had six hours and 29 minutes to break into the nondescript nuclear facility in a commercial district of the Iranian capital, Tehran, before the guards arrived in the morning. In that time, they infiltrated the facility, disabled alarms and cut through safes to remove the secret documents before leaving undetected.
It said certain documents appeared to demonstrate that Iran had worked to "systematically assemble everything it needed to produce atomic weapons," but noted that exculpatory information could have been left out of the hand-picked documents shown to its reporter.
The Washington Post reported that Iran "was as on the cusp of mastering key bomb-making technologies" when the program ended last decade.
The Associated Press was not provided access to the new details of the Mossad operation.
There was no immediate comment from Netanyahu's office.


Lebanon rejects Syrian conditions on its trucks' transit through Nassib border crossing

The main border crossing between Jordan and war-torn Syria reopened on October 15. (AFP)
Updated 25 min 51 sec ago
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Lebanon rejects Syrian conditions on its trucks' transit through Nassib border crossing

  • The only contact existing with the Syrian side is on the return of displaced persons and is taking place with the Russian side: source
  • The Lebanese leader Michel Aoun had praised the agreement reached between the Jordanian and Syrian authorities to open the Nassib border crossing

BEIRUT: Lebanese government sources confirmed to Arab News that it "will not coordinate with the Syrian government in any way regarding the transit of Lebanese trucks through this (Nassib) border toward the Gulf States.”

The sources stressed that “the only contact existing with the Syrian side is on the return of displaced persons and is taking place with the Russian side. Otherwise the contacts between the Lebanese and Syrian sides are conducted on an individual level.”

“How could any conditions be imposed on the Lebanese side for the crossing of Lebanese trucks at a time when crossings at the Syrian-Lebanese borders take place normally without any preconditions?” the sources said.

Elnashra Lebanese news website had quoted a Syrian source as saying that “No agreement has been reached with the Lebanese side on all details related to the transit of trucks from Lebanon to Jordan through the Nassib border crossing.” The source added that “In the last meeting with the Lebanese ministers, the Syrian side emphasized the necessity of communication between the governments of the two countries, whether on transit trucks or other economic files.”

According to Elnashra, the Syrian source described the meetings with Lebanese officials as “always positive and fruitful, but also in need of greater and wider contact with the other officials.” And whether the Lebanese trucks will begin to cross, the Syrian source reiterated that it “needs some time and arrangements with the Lebanese side.”

The Lebanese leader Michel Aoun had praised the “agreement reached between the Jordanian and Syrian authorities to open the Nassib border crossing. This will be beneficial also to Lebanon and allows the movement of people and goods from Lebanon to the Arab countries and vice versa.”

Aoun stressed that “the opening of this vital crossing after three years of closure will revive the various productive sectors, and reduce the cost of exporting goods from Lebanon to the Arab countries.”

The Lebanese Minister of Agriculture in the caretaker government, Ghazi Zu’aitir, said that “opening the Nassib crossing serves the interest of Lebanese exporters and that communication with the Syrian side is continuing at the level of ministers concerned on this issue.”

Zu’aitir spoke about “agreements signed between the Lebanese and Syrian parties: The Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination, the presence of the Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council, and the exchange of embassies between the two countries, which allows us to move based on constitutional and legal provisions."

The Minister of Economy in the caretaker government, Raed Khoury, revealed that “we communicated with the Syrian side today, and the logistical details on the transit of trucks and Lebanese exports and other issues will be discussed in the coming days.”

The head of the Farmers and Peasants Association in the Bekaa Valley, Ibrahim Tarshishi, told Arab News: “The agricultural sector was exporting through the Nassib border crossing goods in reaching up to 500,000 tons annually to the Arab countries, and 50,000 by sea. With the closure of the crossing over the past three years, the sector was exporting only 350,000 tons by sea, causing losses to farmers because they had to sell the remaining production at prices below 50 percent of the cost of production.”

“The trucks will start operating starting Tuesday, and we have not been informed of any different procedures related to the transport and transit process,” said Shafiq Al-Qassis, head of Truck Owners' Association in Lebanon.