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Israel has tape of Iranian nuclear scientist saying mullahs ‘want five warheads’

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“‘Israel has tape of slain Iran nuke chief talking about building five warheads,’” Times of Israel, December 4, 2020:

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….

“I’m going to play you something, but I ask that you not talk about it with anyone, not even with the director of the CIA,” the report quoted Olmert as telling Bush from within the closed-door meeting. Bush reportedly agreed to the request.

Olmert pulled out a recording device, hit play and a man could be heard speaking in Persian.

“The man speaking here is Mohsen Fakhrizadeh,” Olmert reportedly explained. “Fakhrizadeh is the head of the “AMAD” program, Iran’s secret military nuclear project. The one it denies exists at all,” Olmert told Bush according to the report.

The prime minister then revealed that Israeli intelligence services had managed to recruit an Iranian agent close to Fakhrizadeh who had been feeding Jerusalem information on the nuclear scientist for years.

Olmert provided Bush with an English-language transcript of what Fakhrizadeh had said in Persian.

According to the report, Fakhrizadeh could be heard giving details about the development of Iranian nuclear weapons. However, the Yedioth report only quotes selected phrases, without the word nuclear. The scientist complains that the government is not providing him with sufficient funds to carry out his work. On the one hand, Fakhrizadeh says, in an apparent reference to his superiors, “they want five warheads,” but on the other, “they aren’t letting me work.”

Fakhrizadeh then goes on to criticize colleagues in the defense ministry and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the report.

Bush read the recording’s translation and reacted with silence. Yedioth claimed the recording served as a “smoking atomic gun” for Olmert….

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