British Foreign Minister Says Netanyahu's Speech Stresses Iran Deal's Importance

Boris Johnson says that the 'tough verification' required by the Iran deal is a 'good reason for keeping the deal while building on it'

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson looks at his watch before attending a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, May 1, 2018.
Matt Dunham/AP

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech in which he revealed Iranian nuclear documents highlights that the "importance" of the nuclear deal with Iran.

At a press conference on Monday, Netanyahu revealed a cache of documents which he says prove that Iran lied to the world about its nuclear program for years, even after the 2015 accord was struck with major world powers. Presenting information culled from 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs, Netanyahu said Iran hid an "atomic archive" of documents relating to its nuclear project.

>>'Mossad discovered Iranian nuclear archive in 2016 and smuggled it to Israel in January' ■ Israel's double front against Iran ■

"The Iran nuclear deal is not based on trust about Iran’s intentions," Johnson said in a press release, "rather it is based on tough verification, including measures that allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear programme."

"The fact that Iran conducted sensitive research in secret until 2003 shows why we need the intrusive inspections allowed by the Iran nuclear deal today," Johnson's statement said. "The verification provisions in the Iran nuclear deal would make it harder for Iran to restart any such research."

"That is another good reason for keeping the deal while building on it in order to take account of the legitimate concerns of the U.S. and our other allies," it concludes.

Boris Johnson's comments echo those of other European world leaders following Netanyahu's speech, in which he said the documents prove that "Iran lied" to the world about its nuclear program.

Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, said the EU must assess the details and documents in Netanyahu's statement, and get the International Atomic Energy Agency's assessment as well, as it is "the only impartial, international organization that is in charge of monitoring Iran's nuclear commitments." Mogherini said that the IAEA has published 10 reports certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments.

Germany said it will analyze information presented by Israel on Iran's nuclear activities on Monday but independent inspections must be maintained.

"It is clear that the international community had doubts that Iran was carrying out an exclusively peaceful nuclear programme," a spokesman for the German government said. "It was for this reason the nuclear accord was signed in 2015, including the implementation of an unprecedented, thorough and robust surveillance system by the International Atomic Energy Agency."

Netanyahu on Tuesday invited Britain, France and the U.K. to see the materials Israel obtained and that the European countries will be sending delegations of experts to Israel over the weekend.