Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has evidence Iranian officials were “brazenly lying” when they said Iran wasn’t pursuing nuclear weapons and that the Islamic republic is keeping an “atomic archive” at a secret compound.
“Tonight, I’m here to tell you one thing: Iran lied — big time,” Netanyahu said late Monday during an address from the Israel Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv.
Calling it one of the greatest achievements in the history of Israeli intelligence, Netayahu displayed what he said were files that demonstrate Iran planned to continue pursuing a nuclear weapons program despite the deal it brokered with the international community.
The files were kept in massive vaults inside an “innocent-looking compound” in Shorabad District, the Prime Minister said. The 100,000 files contain, among other things, blueprints, charts, photos, videos and presentations dealing with nuclear weaponry.
“Iran planned at the highest level to continue work related to nuclear weapons under different guises and using the same personnel,” he said.
Before Netanyahu’s address, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, “The boy who can’t stop crying wolf is at it again. Undeterred by cartoon fiasco at UNGA. You can only fool some of the people so many times.”
Zarif was referring to a cartoon drawing of a bomb that Netanyahu referred to during a September 2012 appearance before the UN General Assembly about Iran’s nuclear program.
Netanyahu said during his address that Zarif — along with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, and President Hassan Rouhani — had all previously lied when they said Iran had no interest in nuclear weapons.
As part of the 2015 pact — agreed to by former US President Barack Obama, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany — Iran agreed to reduce its uranium stockpile in return for international sanctions being lifted.
US President Donald Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to continue waiving sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the Iran deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.