September 20, 2019
Middle East

Netanyahu claims Iran had secret nuclear weapons site

Speaking in Jerusalem Monday, eight days ahead of Israel's September 17 election, Netanyahu showed a satellite image of what he said was a site near the city of Abadeh, south of Isfahan where Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons.Netanyahu did not give any time references in his short, televised, presentation, but a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office told CNN the site was operational from 2003, maybe earlier.Information about the Abadeh site was contained in an archive of Iran's nuclear activities captured by Israeli agents in January 2018, Netanyahu said.Once Iran realized that Israel had uncovered the site at Abadeh, "it destroyed the evidence, or at least tried to destroy the evidence," Netanyahu said.The Israeli premier showed two, date-stamped, satellite images, one taken before, and one after, the alleged Iranian operation to clean up the site, which suggested it had taken place either in late June or early July of this year.Netanyahu said the revelation was further proof that Iran lies about its nuclear program, and he appealed to world leaders to follow the United States in driving a tough line on sanctions."I call on the international continuity to wake up, to realize that Iran is systematically lying, and I call on the international community to join President Trump's sanctions to exert more pressure on Iran. The only way to stop Iran's march to the bomb, and its aggression in the region, is pressure, pressure and more pressure," he said.Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Netanyahu, along with members of the Trump Administration, wanted a war and he accused the Israeli leader of hypocrisy, tweeting, "The possessor of REAL nukes cries wolf — on an ALLEGED 'demolished' site in Iran."Israel is making the case for war, in public, against LebanonNetanyahu's political rivals at home focused on his motives in releasing the news so close to the general election.The main challenger, Benny Gantz, wrote on Twitter, "Netanyahu's use of sensitive information for propaganda indicates poor judgement. Even in his last days as Prime Minister, Netanyahu cares only about Netanyahu."Netanyahu first unveiled detailed information about Iran's nuclear program in May 2018, making public for the first time a secret Israeli operation to remove documents and materials pertaining to the nuclear program from a warehouse in Tehran.Commenting at the time, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that the information revealed by Netanyahu did not alter its 2015 assessment, made as part of its role in laying the groundwork for the Iran nuclear deal, that there was no evidence that Iran had carried out any activity related to the development of nuclear weapons after 2009.Nuclear non-proliferation analyst Jeffrey Lewis told CNN he was underwhelmed by Netanyahu's latest presentation.Read More – Source

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