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30 Apr, 2018 17:09

Netanyahu shows slides, shelves of docs claiming Iran has nuclear weapons program

Netanyahu shows slides, shelves of docs claiming Iran has nuclear weapons program

Iran lied about its nuclear program, making the 2015 deal invalid, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address from Tel Aviv, using big-screen presentation slides and video.

Netanyahu showed the public a massive bookcase filled with folders, claiming this represents the number of documents that Israel has on Iran's program. He went on through his presentation on human-sized long screens, showing slides and pictures of what he claimed was evidence of Tehran violating the agreement with global powers.

Though Iran claimed it never had a nuclear weapons program, “100,000 secret files prove it did,” Netanyahu said. After the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran “continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons knowledge” for future use.

"After signing the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran intensified its efforts to hide its secret files," he said. "In 2017 Iran moved its nuclear weapons files to a highly secret location in Tehran."

According to the PM, Tehran had preserved and expanded its military nuclear know-how in a secret atomic archive after the 2015 deal was signed. He said that “half a ton” of documents from the archives were obtained by Israel in “a great intelligence achievement.” Netanyahu claimed that the files contain incriminating evidence that Iran has been working to develop a nuclear bomb as part of a program called “Project Amad.”

Netanyahu has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the intelligence discoveries, and intends to send experts to France and Germany in the coming days to share the findings, the PM’s office said in a statement.

Israel has long opposed the 2015 agreement, which saw international sanctions on its main geopolitical rival lifted in exchange for Iran curbing it controversial nuclear program.

Iranian media have dismissed Netanyahu’s presentation, with the news agency Fars calling it “a propaganda show” and the state news agency IRNA describing the Israeli PM as “famous for ridiculous displays.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called Netanyahu’s presentation a “coordinated timing of alleged intelligence revelations by the boy who cries wolf” just before May 12, when US President Donald Trump is expected to pull out of the nuclear deal. Zarif said Netanyahu was undeterred by the “cartoon fiasco” at the UN General Assembly, referring to the 2012 presentation that used a cartoon bomb graphic.

After his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday, Netanyahu said that “the attempt of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons” remains “the greatest threat” to Israel, the US, and the whole world.

Trump has slammed the Iran nuclear deal as “the worst deal ever” and threatened to pull the US out of the agreement. Trump’s threat will be carried out if he doesn’t renew a waiver on sanctions against Iran until May 12.

The leaders of the UK, France, and Germany vowed to defend the Iran nuclear deal in a joint statement on Sunday, calling it “the best way” to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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