The White House has claimed documents released by Israel show that Iran had a “robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program,” an allegation dismissed as both “ridiculous and childish” by Tehran.
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of “lying” about its nuclear research program. Citing evidence from a trove of files that the Israeli intelligence allegedly managed to obtain from Tehran’s nuclear research archive, the Israeli PM claimed Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapons program when it brokered the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the international community.
The Trump White House, which has long sought to amend or scrap the nuclear deal with Tehran, wasted no time in welcoming Netanyahu’s “revelations,” and was among the first to react to the explosive report delivered via a combination of MS Paint and Powerpoint.
“This information provides new and compelling details about Iran’s efforts to develop missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” the White House said in a 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.”
While the White House promised to “carefully” examine the information, President Donald Trump already used the opportunity to state that the Israeli presentation proves that he was absolutely correct in his own assessment of Iran’s nuclear threat.
“I think if anything what’s happening today and what’s happened over the last little while… has really shown that I’m 100% right” about the 2015 nuclear deal, Trump said at a joint press conference with his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari. Once again criticizing the deal, Trump warned that Tehran might soon have the capabilities to produce nuclear warheads.
“In seven years, that deal will have expired and Iran is free to go ahead and create nuclear weapons. That is not acceptable. Seven years is tomorrow, that’s not acceptable,” he noted.
Trump previously slammed the internationally-backed agreement as “the worst deal ever” and threatened to pull the US out of it. The White House has until May 12 to extend sanctions waivers against Tehran. “We’ll see what happens,” Trump said on Monday.
Newly-appointed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meanwhile reasserted Washington’s commitment to “fix” the Iranian deal, noting that, while Tehran’s research program was “known” to the US, Israeli revelations offer “thousands” of new and “authentic” documents and information on the matter.
“This will, I think, spell out the scope and scale of the program that they undertook there, and I think that it makes clear that at the very least the Iranians have continued to lie to their own people,” Pompeo told reporters. “The Iranians have consistently taken the position that they’ve never had a program like this. This will belie any notion that there wasn’t a program.”
‘Infamous liar’: Iran blasts Netanyahu for claims Tehran had nuke program
Calling the Israeli premier “an infamous liar” and head of a “child-killing Zionist regime,” Iran has furiously denounced an elaborate presentation by Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he accused Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons.
In a statement Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry blasted Monday’s claims by a “broke and infamous liar who has had nothing to offer except lies and deceits.” It accused Israel of “using battered charlatanism” and viewing others as a threat to justify the existence of their “illegal regime.”
“Netanyahu and the notorious, child-killing Zionist regime must have reached the basic understanding that the people of the world have enough awareness and cognizance,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qassemi,
In a series of tweets, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also ridiculed Netanyahu’s accusations, noting the “coordinated timing of alleged intelligence revelations by the boy who cries wolf just days before May 12.” On that day President Donald Trump is expected to decide whether the US should stay in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal inked by five world powers as well as Iran.