France: Israeli Intel on Iran Proves Nuclear Deal's Importance

Information provided by Israel on Iran's military nuclear program confirms in part what Europeans revealed in 2002, French Foreign Ministry says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presenting information on Iran's nuclear weapons program in Tel Aviv, April 30, 2018.
JACK GUEZ/AFP

Information provided by Israel on Iran's military nuclear program confirms in part what Europeans revealed in 2002, France's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The information corroborated the non-civilian nature of Iran's nuclear weapons program, the ministry said. 

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The ministry was responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech in Tel Aviv on Monday, in which Netanyahu revealed a cache of documents he said proves Iran lied to the world about its nuclear program for years, even after the 2015 nuclear deal with the world.

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"This information should be studied and evaluated in detail," foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement. "It is essential that the IAEA can continue to verify Iran's respect for JCPOA (nuclear deal) and the peaceful nature of its nuclear program." 

The ministry, however, stressed that the Israeli information underscores the importance of maintaining the Iran nuclear deal, adding that it is essential that the UN atomic watchdog continues inspections in Iran.

The Israeli information could also confirm the need for long-term assurances on Iran's nuclear program, the foreign ministry added.

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"Iran did not come clean about its nuclear program," Netanyahu said in his prime time address in English. Iran called out the speech as "propaganda."

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During his prime time speech, Netanyahu presented 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs that Iran hid as being "atomic archive" of documents on its nuclear program.

Netanyahu claimed that Iran was "blatantly lying" when it said it doesn't have a nuclear program. He claimed the documents on display were proof that Iran had developed and continued to develop its nuclear program.

In a public response to the Israeli prime minister's speech, U.S. President Donald Trump said that it "showed that I was 100% right" in criticizing the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, intelligence experts and diplomats said Netanyahu's presentation did not seem to have a "smoking gun" showing a violation by Iran, but it could strengthen the hand of advisers to Trump who want to scrap the nuclear agreement, including John Bolton, the national security advisor, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

This comes as the U.S. deadline on Iranian sanctions regarding the nuclear deal, May 12, draws near.