Israel Accuses Iran of Lying About Nuclear Weapons Programs While IAEA & UN Say Otherwise
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Iran of telling lies about their nuclear weapons program. The Jewish state leader, who is under investigation for corruption-related charges in Israel, made a dramatic presentation using alleged documents from an Iranian nuclear weapons program called Project Amad. Project Amad was reportedly shut down in 2003 but Netanyahu claims it is still active.
The U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the documents shown proved Iran had deceived its people and lied about the nuclear program “Project Amad”. However, the former CIA boss refused to elaborate whether the document obtained by Israel showed a violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Israel claims it has proof Iran’s nuclear
Netanyahu in his Monday presentation claimed Israel had intelligence evidence that Iran had hidden atomic arsenals. He stated there were around 100,000 documents consisting of photographs, videos, and blueprints showing that Iran had deliberately violated the 2015 nuclear accord.
“Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program,” Netanyahu said. “One hundred thousand secret files prove it did. Second, even after the deal, Iran continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons knowledge for future use.”
The nuclear treaty, formally known as The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed by Iran and world powers (the U.S, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) in 2015 in the capital of Austria, Vienna.
The Times of Israel reported the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad had broken into storage last January and smuggled those files to Israel the same night. However, the report did not describe how those documents were delivered secretly.
Isreal claims those files reveal Iran had developed nuclear weapons in a secret facility in Shorabad District, which looks like an ordinary building.
“Here’s what Project Amad’s explicit goal was: creating nuclear weapons. This is an original Iranian presentation from these files, and here’s the mission statement: Design, produce, and test five warheads, each with then kiloton TNT yield for integration on a missile,” Netanyahu tweeted on April 30.
Pompeo echoed Netanyahu statement, saying that Iran is not consistent with a nuclear pledge that the country will not seek, develop, and acquire nuclear weapons.
He added that this time was the right time to review whether Iran can be trusted either in developing or controlling nuclear’s materials.
President Donald Trump will be announcing the decision whether Washington will pull out of the nuclear deal on May 12.
But UN agency and the EU cast doubt over Netanyahu’s claim
Some see Netanyahu’s presentation as an effort to push its closest ally, the U.S., to pull out of the 2015 Iran agreement. The European Union (EU) seems to be less enthusiastic in responding to the files.
According to the EU’s foreign policy head Federica Mogherini, Netanyahu’s presentation did not reveal that Iran was breaking the terms of the nuclear treaty.
“I have not seen from Prime Minister Netanyahu arguments for the moment on non-compliance, meaning violation by Iran of its nuclear commitments under the deal,” Mogherini stated on Monday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Iran deal, on Tuesday stated that there had no credible indications of Iranian nuclear weapons activities after 2009.
“Before the end of 2003, an organizational structure was in place in Iran suitable for the coordination of a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” the statement from the world’s nuclear watchdog said.
“Although some activities took place after 2003, they were not part of a coordinated effort,” it said, adding that “these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competencies and capabilities.”
Even the White House revises its statement about Iran’s nuclear
A few hours after Netanyahu’s allegation, the White House issued a statement, saying that Iran has a clandestine nuclear arsenals program the country cannot hide from the world and its people anymore.
“The United States is aware of the information just released by Israel and continues to examine it carefully. This information provides new and compelling details about Iran’s efforts to develop missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” said the White House statement.
“These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people. The Iranian regime has shown it will use destructive weapons against its neighbors and others. Iran must never have nuclear weapons.”
After the IAEA response to Netanyahu and the IAEA’s declaration that Iran was not violating the 2015 deal, the White House amended the statement “Iran has a robust” to “Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program.” The White House blamed the change on a clerical error.