Never, to the best of our knowledge, has an incumbent Mossad chief publicly issued such a pronouncement, but on Nov. 2, the spy agency’s director David Barnea pledged that Iran would never have nuclear weapons. “It’s clear that there’s no need for uranium enriched to 60% for civilian purposes,” he said at a ceremony honoring outstanding Mossad agents. “There’s no need for three enrichment sites. There’s no need for thousands of active centrifuges — unless, that is, there is an intention to develop nuclear weapons. … Iran will not have nuclear weapons — not in the coming years, not ever. That is my promise, that is Mossad’s promise.”
Barnea leaves next week for talks in the United States against the backdrop of growing US-Israeli tensions over the Iranian nuclear issue. The Americans, according to a front-page Nov. 3 headline in the mass circulation Yedioth Ahronoth, are demanding that Israel freeze all clandestine and intelligence activity designed to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program during the ongoing Vienna negotiations so as to avoid undermining the talks with Tehran. Israel, claims the report, is refusing to commit itself.