Iran Denies Netanyahu's 'Ridiculous' Secret Tehran Nuclear Facility Claims

'Time for Israel to fess up and open its illegal nuclear weapons program to international inspectors,' says Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during an ASEAN meeting in Singapore, August 3, 2018
\ Feline Lim/ REUTERS

Iran on Friday rejected Israeli accusations that it was concealing a "secret atomic warehouse," after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his UN General Assembly speech to challenge Tehran.

The claims were "baseless and ridiculous," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, according to the Isna news agency.

He added that the only recognized supervisory body for nuclear facilties was the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which had in certified Iran's nuclear programme as peaceful 12 times in the past three years.

During his speech in New York on Thursday, Netanyahu presented maps and photos of what he claimed was a secret nuclear weapons storage site in Tehran disguised as a rug-cleaning business.

He said that some 15 kilograms of radioactive material had been relocated from the site to other parts of the capital in recent weeks and called on the IAEA to investigate.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 27, 2018.
\ CARLO ALLEGRI/ REUTERS

>> Netanyahu's UN speech was one his most convincing and effective performances

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ridiculed the presentation.

"No arts & craft show will ever obfuscate that Israel is only regime in our region with a *secret* and *undeclared* nuclear weapons program - including an *actual atomic arsenal*," he wrote on Twitter.

"Time for Israel to fess up and open its illegal nuclear weapons program to international inspectors," he said.