Commentary: Iran threatens to prevent UN inspectors from accessing recordings. Why doesn't the Mossad steal them? 

In February, Iran blocked access by UN inspectors to nuclear facilities, but continued to record what was taking place. Now it is threatening to erase the recordings. Obtaining the recordings is expected to improve the position of the US in negotiations

Screenshot. Video: Omer Meron, GPO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVydQuS6g6o&t=1s

Much has been written in recent years on the boldness of Western intelligence bodies in Iran, among them the Israeli Mossad. More specifically, the current head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, has said in front of the cameras in the past that the Mossad has "ears and more than that" in Iran. The Israeli Mossad is even responsible for stealing the nuclear archive from Iran. However, it raises the question of why the Mossad and other intelligence agencies in the West are unable to neutralize Iran's advantage over the IAEA by stealing the recordings of the nuclear facilities.       

Around February of this year, Iran decided, in a step taken against the U.S. and Europe, that it will prevent U.N. inspectors from accessing the nuclear sites being supervised under the 2015 nuclear accords. Iran told the U.N. that the recordings from the cameras in those facilities will continue to be made for three months (until May of this year), but the inspectors will not have access to them until there are accords that remove the U.S. sanctions.    

In the meantime, negotiations started with the U.S. and Europe on the return to the 2015 nuclear accords, but the talks take time. Why does it matter? Because the agreement between the IAEA and Iran will expire towards the end of this month, and Iran is threatening to erase the recordings that it has. "Let's hope it hasn't happened," the director-general of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, was quoted as saying by the france24 website.    

In other words, Iran is using the recordings and the granting of access to the U.N. inspectors as leverage in the negotiations with the U.S. and Europe. If a Western intelligence service (maybe the Mossad?) succeeds in secretly obtaining those recordings, the Iranian threat would lose its credibility. Even if Iran followed through on its threat, and the recordings were erased, the materials would still be available to the U.N.   

Is Biden expected to oppose such an intelligence operation? I wrote a number of times in the past that Biden does not look kindly upon Israeli sabotage or assassinations in Iran that could thwart the negotiations. However, in this case, it is an operation whose objective is only to collect intelligence (obtain the recordings), and one that could give the U.S. an advantage in negotiations. Therefore, Biden is not expected to oppose such an operation. 

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