EU Says Netanyahu Did Not Incriminate Iran; Germany Vows to Investigate

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Benjamin Netanyahu and Federica Mogherini speak during a news conference at the European Council in Brussels, December 11, 2017
Benjamin Netanyahu and Federica Mogherini speak during a news conference at the European Council in Brussels, December 11, 2017Credit: Bloomberg

The European Union's foreign policy chief released a statement Monday responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's presentation regarding Iran's nuclear program, saying he has not "put into question Iran's compliance" with the landmark accord from 2015.

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Federica Mogherini 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." According to Mogherini, the IAEA has published 10 reports certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments.

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A diplomatic source who spoke with Haaretz said that if the international nuclear watchdog had the details provided by Netanyahu on Monday then the Iran deal would never have taken place because the deal was conditioned on an IAEA report that cleared Iran of military nuclear activity. Iran reported there were no such activities and on the basis of those lies, the official said, Iran got a clean bill.

Mogherini added that if any party or country has information of non-compliance of any kind, it can and should channel this information to proper, recognized mechanisms. She concluded by saying she has not seen from Netanyahu's argument for the moment any "violation by Iran of its nuclear commitment under the deal. And again, the deal was put in place exactly because there was no trust between the parties, otherwise we would not have required a nuclear deal to be put in place."

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."

The spokesman said it was critical to maintain independent surveillance to ensure Iran was complying with the accord.

Britain has also commented on Netanyahu's presentation on Monday, saying it had never been naive about Iran's nuclear programme, and inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are vital to ensure it is used for peaceful means.

Earlier Monday, Netanyahu revealed a cache of documents he says proves Iran lied to the world about its nuclear program for years, even after the 2015 nuclear deal with the world. "Iran did not come clean about its nuclear program," Netanyahu said in a prime time address in English. Iran, for its part, blasted the speech as "propaganda."

U.S. President Donald Trump, who spoke publicly 30 minutes after Netanyahu's speech, said that Netanyahu's speech "showed that I was 100% right" in criticizing the nuclear deal.

Netanyahu spoke on the phone this evening with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the information he revealed concerning Iran's nuclear weapons program.  Netanyahu's office said on Twitter that Israel "will send in the coming days professional teams that will share with Germany and France the detailed material Israel obtained on Iran's efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon."

Netanyahu also spoke to Russian president Vladimir Putin about the archive. The two discussed Syria and agreed to meet as soon as possible. Netanyahu says he plans to update British and Chinese leaders soon. 

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