After Netanyahu Speech, UN Reiterates It Found No Traces of Iran Nuclear Arms Program

'It is not the practice of the IAEA to publicly discuss issues related to any such information,' UN group says after Netanyahu revealed what he claimed was proof of secret Iranian nuclear program

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presents material on Iranian nuclear weapons development during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Monday, April 30 2018. Netanyahu says his government has obtained "half a ton" of secret Iranian documents proving the Tehran government once had a nuclear weapons program. Calling it a "great intelligence achievement," Netanyahu said Monday that the documents show that Iran lied about its nuclear ambitions before signing a 2015 deal with world powers. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Sebastian Scheiner/AP

The UN nuclear agency says it believes that Iran had a "coordinated" nuclear weapons program in place before 2003, but found "no credible indications" of such work after 2009.

The International Atomic Energy Agency declined on Tuesday to directly address Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s accusations that Iran was breaching its landmark nuclear deal with major powers.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

Netanyahu on Monday stepped up pressure on the United States to pull out of the 2015 deal, presenting what he called evidence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program. Iran is known to have had a weapons program until 2003; analysts and diplomats said he appeared to be recycling old accusations.

>> Netanyahu tries but fails to bury Iran nuclear deal before Trump actually kills it ■ Great show, glaring flaw: 3 takeaways from Netanyahu’s ‘Iran lied’ speech ■ FULL TEXT & VIDEO: Netanyahu claims Iran nuclear deal based on lies <<

“In line with standard IAEA practice, the IAEA evaluates all (nuclear) safeguards-relevant information available to it,” said a spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is policing the deal. “However, it is not the practice of the IAEA to publicly discuss issues related to any such information.”

In a report issued in December 2015, shortly before the pact went into effect, the IAEA said “a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort.”

Those activities continued after 2003, though in a less coordinated manner, and there was no credible indication of any activities beyond 2009, the IAEA said at the time. The spokesman’s statement on Tuesday reiterated the 2015 report’s findings.

>> 'Mossad discovered Iranian nuclear archive in 2016 and smuggled it to Israel in January'

Under its 2015 with world powers, Iran curbed its enrichment of uranium for nuclear fuel to allay concerns it could be put to developing bomb material, and Tehran won relief from most international sanctions in return. UN nuclear inspectors have repeatedly reported that Iran is heeding the terms of the deal.