In the video: ISA Director Ronen Bar at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism conference at Reichman University (Reichman University)
Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar is on a visit to Washington for talks with senior members of the American intelligence community and the White House on the Palestinian and Iranian issues, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Among other things, Barr met with CIA Director Bill Burns.
Why it's important:
The Shin Bet chief's visit to Washington comes at a time when there is growing concern in Israel and the United States regarding the stability of the Palestinian Authority and the conflagration of the West Bank.
The head of the Shin Bet is in Washington at the same time as National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer visited the city. The two met Thursday with senior White House and State Department officials.
What they say:
The Shin Bet said in response: "We do not comment on the schedule of the head of the Shin Bet."
ISA head Ronen Bar (Photo: Shin Bet)
Earlier today, the Foreign Ministry lashed out at the International Atomic Energy Agency for closing an investigation into a suspected nuclear site, claiming it was surrendering to Iran. "The closure of the Mariwan case is deeply disturbing," the ministry said in a statement. "The explanations provided by Iran for the presence of nuclear material at the site are not reliable or technically possible. Iran continues to lie to the IAEA and deceive the international community."
"The capitulation of the IAEA Director General and the International Atomic Energy Agency to Iranian political pressure is very disappointing," the statement said. "This is mainly because the information in the dossier unequivocally indicates blatant Iranian violations of the inspection agreements."
The Foreign Ministry also claimed that closing the case could have "extremely dangerous" consequences. "The agency sends a message to the Iranians that they do not have to pay a price for their violations and that they can continue to deceive the international community on their way to achieving a full military nuclear program," the ministry said.
Nuclear facility in Iran, archive photo (Photo: AP)
Netanyahu later released a laconic 14-second video, during which he did not directly mention the report. "My message to Iran and the international community is that Israel will do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," he said.
The suspected facility known as Mariwan – near the city of Abada, south of Isfahan – was allegedly linked to Iran's nuclear weapons program. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled the facility in a speech in September 2019. Satellite images from recent years showed that the Iranians destroyed all the buildings there in an attempt to hide evidence. However, UN inspectors found uranium particles at the site and opened an investigation. The agency wrote in its report that Iran had given possible explanations for the uranium particles found at the suspect site and noted that it had no open questions on the matter.
Despite the closure of the investigation into the suspicious site and the conclusion of the examination into the enrichment of uranium to a high level, the IAEA emphasized in its report that Iran has not yet provided satisfactory answers regarding two other suspicious sites, one of which is the nuclear warehouse in Turkuzabad, which Netanyahu revealed in a speech at the UN several years ago.
- Ronen Bar