Netanyahu: We Invite World to Examine New Materials We Revealed on Iran's Nuclear Program

'We've turned a lot of question marks into exclamation marks,' Netanyahu says, inviting U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China to examine cache of documents

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presents material on Iranian nuclear weapons development during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Monday, April 30 2018.
JACK GUEZ/AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that the materials he presented on Iran's nuclear program were "new" and "turned a lot of question marks into exclamation marks."

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Netanyahu said he "invited Britain, France and the U.K. to see the materials and they expressed much interest and are sending delegations of experts to Israel over the weekend to examine them."

He added: "I told [Russian President Vladimir] Putin he's also invited to see the materials and we have also reached out to the Chinese and to the IAEA," referencing the international atomic watchdog.

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The head of Israel's National Security Council, Meir Ben Shabbat, said that the "diagnosis regarding Iran's medical problems is clear: The medicine is not working. Those who think it is will pay the price of its side effects."

'Major decision by White House'

A senior Israeli official added that "if the [2015 nuclear] deal would deliver the goods as it is being presented, then this archive would never have even existed. They [the Iranians] need to disclose these materials. The very existence of the archive is a violation – but it is actually the basis of the deal."

Regarding the future of the agreement between Tehran and the world powers – about which U.S. President Donald Trump must decide by May 12 – the official added, "we are now nearing a major decision by the White House and the Europeans have made their position known. It was their week, but now it's our week."

The same source said that Israel received the intelligence materials in February and presented them to Trump in the White House in March.

"We don't know what Trump plans to do or what he will decide [with respect to the Iran deal], he's independent, we can only present what we know and state our opinion."

The official further ripped into the accord, saying it currently "leads only to one place: an Iranian arsenal. They will use money from the deal to develop a bomb and missiles. This deal is the absolute worst, and exiting it will kill the machine that's funding Iran. Just Trump even talking about leaving the deal hurts their economy."

'It was heavy'

A senior intelligence official said that Israel "could not present the truly incriminating photos because they clearly show how to build an atomic weapon and this is not something we want floating around."

The source added that what was "significant" about the materials presented by Netanyahu on Monday night, concerning the 2015 agreement, was that they showed Tehran did not come clean to the IAEA and thus broke one of the deal's preconditions: full disclosure of Iran's nuclear activities to the watchdog.

"We've never obtained such a large amount of documents We didn't take the whole archive because it was heavy," the official added.

"There's also a question of why they have this archive and have actively hid it: If Iran has never developed or never planned to develop [certain capabilities] – then why would they need this? This was a big project that employed hundreds of people involved in calculations and simulations, and it cannot be attributed to a few scientists."

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.

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"This is an original Iranian presentation from these files," Netanyahu said, stressing that "the mission statement is to design, produce and test five warheads with 10 kiloton of TNT yield for integration on missiles."

Intelligence experts and diplomats said the premier did not seem to have presented a "smoking gun" showing that Iran had actually violated the terms of the international agreement, although he may have helped make a case on behalf of skeptics in the U.S. who want to scrap it.

Tehran is "blatantly lying" when it says it doesn't have a nuclear program, Netanyahu claimed, laying out what he said was proof that Iran had developed and continued to develop its nuclear capabilities.

At the press conference, Netanyahu revealed the existence of a secret Iranian nuclear project code-named "Amad," which had been shelved in 2003 although he said work in the field had continued thereafter.

"After signing the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran intensified its efforts to hide its secret files," the premier said. "In 2017 Iran moved its nuclear weapons files to a highly secret location in Tehran." 

The documents show that Iran's Fordow nuclear plant was "designed from the get-go for nuclear weapons for Project Amad," Netanyahu asserted. 

"We can now prove that Project Amad was a comprehensive program to design, build and test nuclear weapons," he said. "We can also prove that Iran is secretly storing Project Amad material to use at a time of its choice to develop nuclear weapons."

Netanyahu concluded by saying that "Iran lied about never having a secret nuclear program. Secondly, even after the deal, it continued to expand its nuclear program for future use. Thirdly, Iran lied by not coming clean to the IAEA," he explained, adding, "the nuclear deal is based on lies based on Iranian deception."

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