Iran has dismissed as “laughably absurd” an Israel-fabricated scenario, in which the agents with the regime’s Mossad spy agency are claimed to have spirited away loads of “secret documents” on the country’s nuclear work from a site in southern Tehran.
Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for Iran’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations, was responding to recent reports by The New York Times and other news outlets about the details of Mossad’s purported operation near the Iranian capital in the rather Hollywood-style scenario.
The scenario was initially unveiled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is widely known to have a penchant for theatrics. Netanyahu went live on television in late April for yet another dubious show against Iran and put on display what he claimed to be records from a secret warehouse in Tehran.
Netanyahu claimed Israeli agents had managed to break into the warehouse in an overnight raid and bring back “half a ton of the material” consisting of 55,000 pages and another 55,000 files on 183 CDs.
The Israel premier’s vaudeville — which came only days before the US announced its withdrawal from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran — was meant to persuade the world that Iran has been lying about its nuclear program, without providing even a single piece of evidence.
The New York Times published an article on July 15, in which it elaborated on the purported Mossad operation, which it claimed lasted for over six hours.
Reacting to the report, Miryousefi once again rejected Israel’s claims in a statement and said, “It’s almost as if they are trying to see what outlandish claims they can get a Western audience to believe.”
“Iran has always been clear that creating indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction is against what we stand for as a country, and the notion that Iran would abandon any kind of sensitive information in some random warehouse in Tehran is laughably absurd,” he added.
Netanyahu’s April 30 show was so cheaply theatrical that it was quickly held up to ridicule inside Iran and abroad, with observers raising serious questions about the purported Mossad raid.
Back then, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the Israeli premier “the boy who can’t stop crying wolf is at it again,” recalling a similar anti-Iran rant by Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly in 2012– during which he used a cartoon bomb in an attempt to portray the Islamic Republic as a threat.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also said that Netanyahu was playing a baseless childish and naive game against Iran.
The Israeli leader was back then involved in an intense lobbying campaign aimed at dissuading Washington and the other parties to the Iran deal from supporting the landmark agreement, officially dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Except in the US, Netanyahu’s claims, however, fell on deaf ears.
Reacting to the show hours later, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said on May 1 that Netanyahu’s presentation failed to question Tehran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal and that any such claims should solely be assessed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The IAEA — which uses strict mechanisms to monitor the technical aspect of the JCPOA’s implementation — has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s full commitment to its side of the bargain.
The latest New York Times piece comes as Iran and its other parties in the deal — Russia, China, France, Britain plus Germany — are engaged in a diplomatic process aimed at working out ways to keep the JCPOA in place despite Washington’s pullout in May.