The head of Israel’s external intelligence agency, Mossad, has made a rare public appearance and used the opportunity to warn that Iran constitutes one of the main threats facing Israel.
Yossi Cohen, who has led the agency since January 2016, confirmed that Iran is operating closer to Israel’s border than ever before. Cohen said, “Iran continues to desire significant nuclear capabilities so that these can lead to military capabilities; Iran continues to aggressively operate military forces in the Middle East, closer than ever to our borders both in the Syrian and Lebanese arenas; Iran continues to support the terror organisation Hezbollah, and more recently it has increased its support for Hamas; Iran continues to transfer advanced and precise weaponry to terror organisations and into our arena.”
He said that ISIS would continue to attempt to attack Israel and “no less importantly, to attack our friends in the world.”
Cohen was speaking at an event hosted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at which six Mossad teams received commendations. This is the first time the Prime Minister has held the event.
Reflecting on the secret missions for which his agent’s were receiving accolades, Cohen said, “Some are complicated and daring in the heart of enemy states. . . all share several things in common – bravery, courage, dedication to a goal, determination, creativity, depth, thoroughness and groundbreaking technology.”
He added that “the Mossad is getting stronger, with new capabilities in order to advance the future appearance of the world, with new technologies, with intelligence systems, with new forces, with human resources — all of this in order to be prepared for the challenges before us.”
Mossad announced on Sunday that for the first time two branches are led by women, equivalent to the military rank of Major-General.