Commenters are going to stamp their feet about the Telegraph spilling the beans, but come on. Did anyone not think this was going on? Mossad ops are a secret the way Israeli nukes are a “secret”: Invisible, yet a fact of geopolitical life.

Frankly, I wonder how many stories like this are fed to papers by our own side as disinformation, just to turn the crank on Tehran’s paranoia.

The most dramatic element of the “decapitation” programme is the planned assassination of top figures involved in Iran’s atomic operations…

A former CIA officer on Iran told The Daily Telegraph: “Disruption is designed to slow progress on the programme, done in such a way that they don’t realise what’s happening. You are never going to stop it

Mossad’s covert operations cover a range of activities. The former CIA operative revealed how Israeli and US intelligence co-operated with European companies working in Iran to obtain photographs and other confidential material about Iranian nuclear and missile sites…

Israel has also used front companies to infiltrate the Iranian purchasing network that the clerical regime uses to circumvent United Nations sanctions and obtain so-called “dual use” items – metals, valves, electronics, machinery – for its nuclear programme.

The businesses initially supply Iran with legitimate material, winning Tehran’s trust, and then start to deliver faulty or defective items that “poison” the country’s atomic activities.

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because the Times dropped a bombshell to the same effect last month about Bush nixing an Israeli attack on Iran in favor of covert action aimed at sabotaging Iran’s nuke infrastructure. The Times piece was vague on details; this piece is a little less so. Exit question: If you can’t destroy the program by bumping people off, what’s to be gained by delaying it? Presumably it’s Israel’s way of buying time in hopes that the regime will fall and be replaced by a moderate Iranian government, but one of the linchpins of any grand bargain between the U.S. and Iran will be our guarantee that we won’t push for regime change in Tehran any longer. What chance will Iranian dissidents have of overthrowing the mullahs if they can’t count on western help? Seems like a longer-than-longshot to me, unless there’s reason to think the price of oil will fall so low that the country’s economy will implode. Rock on, global depression!

Tags: Israel