Mossad chief says Israel worried Russia will sell advanced weapons to Iran

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Mossad chief David Barnea speaks at a conference at Reichman University on September 10, 2023. (Screenshot)
Mossad chief David Barnea speaks at a conference at Reichman University on September 10, 2023. (Screenshot)

Speaking at an annual conference of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism Policy (ICT) at Reichman University in Herzliya, Mossad director David Barnea says Israel is concerned about Russia selling advanced weaponry to Iran.

Barnea says Iran had intended to provide Russia with short and long-range missiles in addition to the UAVs that it sold it for its invasion of Ukraine. This was foiled, he says.

“They have intentions to sell other weapons that will also be foiled. Our fear is that the Russians will transfer advanced weapons to the Iranians in return, which will certainly endanger our peace and maybe even our existence here,” he adds.

Barnea also says that the spy agency and its allies in the international intelligence community foiled 27 attacks against Jews and Israelis abroad over the past year.

“The squads that were captured, the weapons that were seized together with them, all had clear targets,” he says, noting that the attempts occurred “all over the world, in Europe, Africa, the Far East, and South America.”

“All this under the direction and guidance of Iran. We are working even at this moment to follow Iranian squads to prevent them from killing Jews and Israelis around the world,” Barnea says.

“The time has come to exact a price from Iran in a different way. Harming Israelis and Jews in any way, by proxy or Iranian weapons smuggled into Israel, will lead to activity against the Iranians, from the ground operators to the highest ranks, and I mean that. These prices will be exacted in the depths of Iran, even in the heart of Tehran,” Barnea warns.

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