Report says ex-PM Olmert played top-secret recording of Fakhrizadeh for President Bush in decisive 2008 meeting that boosted US-Israel cooperation against Iran’s nuclear program
Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. (Agencies)
Israel intelligence managed to recruit an Iranian official close to the recently assassinated Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and recorded the nuclear scientist speaking about his efforts to produce “five warheads” on behalf of the Islamic Republic, according to a Friday report in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.
This top-secret recording was played in 2008 by former prime minister Ehud Olmert for then-president George W. Bush during a visit by Bush to Israel and was a key element in convincing the Americans to step up efforts to combat Iran’s nuclear program, the report said.
The report quoted several unnamed Israeli and Middle Eastern intelligence officials, along with recollections from former prime minister Ehud Barak, who was then serving as Olmert’s defense minister.
It said Olmert was so concerned about safeguarding the source of the recording that he refused to play it while anyone else was in the room, including Bush’s national security adviser Stephen Hadley.Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert welcomes US President George W. Bush to Israel, at Ben Gurion International Airport on May 14, 2008. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Fakhrizadeh, the scientist said by Israel and the US to head Iran’s rogue nuclear weapons program, was killed in a military-style ambush last Friday on the outskirts of Tehran. The attack reportedly saw a truck bomb explode and gunmen open fire on Fakhrizadeh.
Iran has accused Israel of carrying out the November 27 hit, and threatened revenge. Israel, which has been linked to a succession of killings of Iranian nuclear scientists, has not publicly commented on the allegations that it was responsible. It has warned its citizens traveling abroad that they may be targets of Iranian terror attacks in the wake of the killing.This photo released by the semi-official Fars News Agency shows the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Fars News Agency via AP)
According to the Yedioth report, written by the newspaper’s well-connected investigative reporter Ronen Bergman, Israel had been compiling a dossier on Fakhrizadeh for nearly three decades, long discounting the scientist’s claims that he had nothing to do with any weapons program.
For Israel, the recordings were the final proof that Iran’s nuclear program was not peaceful, as Tehran repeatedly claimed. Joseph Wouk’s warsclerotic read more