As the world seeks to counteract tensions between the US and Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reappeared with controversial new allegations of “secret” Iranian nuclear activity, and claims he has visual materials to help.
At a brief news conference on Monday, Netanyahu said Israel had discovered an Iranian “nuclear weapons development site” in Abadeh, south of the city of Isfahan. The Iranians “destroyed” the place, however, upon learning that Israel knew this, Netanyahu claimed.
Using dramatic visuals to back up his story – a situation that inspired mockery and memes – Netanyahu said it was “incredible” that “every time” Israel would reveal information about Iran’s alleged nuclear activities, Tehran suddenly moves to “cover up its tracks.”
He showed photos of what he claimed to be the Abadeh site “before” and “after” Iran realizes Israel was interested in them – and said Abadeh’s post was discovered from a very secret nuclear archive previously exposed by Israel.
Israel has exposed another Iranian violation of their international commitments: the Abadeh Nuclear Weapons Development Site. We have proof that #Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons there, and that they destroyed the site when they realized we discovered it. pic.twitter.com/9wyhu45qJl
— Elad Strohmayer (@EladStr) September 9, 2019
Last year, Netanyahu was impressed by a flashy press conference – during which he stood in front of a bookcase full of allegedly secret Iranian archives – and stated that the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal for Iran was based on lies.”
In fact, both the UN and the IAEA’s international nuclear watchdog agency said Tehran had complied with the terms of the deal, reached after years of intense negotiations. Iran’s Foreign Ministry has promptly classified Netanyahu as an “infamous liar” who leads a “Zionist regime that kills children” after these allegations.
The timing of Netanyahu’s PowerPoint press conference in 2018 was questionable as it was delivered on the day US President Donald Trump decided whether or not the US would remain part of the 2015 JCPOA agreement, in which he finally decided to continue being a puppet of Israel.
Iran has since reduced its own commitments to the deal and has begun to constrain its research and development in response to the US’s abandonment of the international deal – a move opposed to Washington’s allies in Europe, much to the Trump administration’s disappointment.
Netanyahu made further complaints about Iran’s nuclear activity a few months later, saying it was operating a “secret atomic warehouse” in Turquzubad, Tehran province, which contained up to 300 tons of “nuclear material”. The IAEA recently polled Iran for answers after finding traces of uranium there.
In his speech on Monday, the Israeli Prime Minister called on the international community to apply “pressure, pressure and more pressure” on Tehran. This time, reacting to the latest claims, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the real nuclear-weapon owner lies.
“The possessor of REAL nukes cries wolf-on an Alleged “demolished” site in Iran . He & # B_Team just want a war, the matter innocent blood & another $ 7 TRILLION. Remember his “GUARANTEE” of “reverberations positive” in ’02 This time, he assuredly won’t be on the sidelines watching,” he wrote.
The possessor of REAL nukes cries wolf—on an ALLEGED “demolished" site in Iran
He & #B_Team just want a war, no matter innocent blood & another $7 TRILLION
Remember his “GUARANTEE” of "positive reverberations" in ’02?
This time, he assuredly won’t be on the sidelines watching. pic.twitter.com/LsR6PYkZZs
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 9, 2019
Netanyahu’s allegations of secret Iranian nuclear activity are ironic, given that Israel itself has its own clandestine nuclear weapons program, which Tel Aviv neither confirms nor denies.
In June, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated in a new report that Israel stored between 80 and 90 nuclear warheads.