Netanyahu Blows the Lid on Iranian Nuclear Program, and Trump Eats It Up
There is mounting concern that Trump’s reaction to Netanyahu’s Iran presentation could herald Mideast war
In what could be one of the most spectacularly successful acts of espionage in decades, Israel's Mossad somehow managed to smuggle 110,000 classified documents out of Iran.
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented those documents to the world, noting that the evidence contained therein proves without a doubt that Iran is still seeking to attain nuclear weapons.
"In 2017, Iran moved its nuclear weapons files to a highly secret location in Tehran," Netanyahu said in a special televised presentation in English. "A few weeks ago, in a great intelligence achievement, Israel obtained half a ton of the material inside these vaults."
Those documents confirm the existence of "Project Amad," explained the Israeli leader, adding that "we can now prove that Project Amad was a comprehensive program to design, build, and test nuclear weapons. We can also prove that Iran is secretly storing Project Amad material to use at a time of its choice to develop nuclear weapons."
The Trump Administration immediately verified the Israeli information, and said it was taking the new revelation very seriously.
A statement by the White House read:
"The United States is aware of the information just released by Israel and continues to examine it carefully. This information provides new and compelling details about Iran's efforts to develop missile-deliverable nuclear weapons.
"These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people. The Iranian regime has shown it will use destructive weapons against its neighbors and others. Iran must never have nuclear weapons."
In remarks to reporters on his return flight from Israel to Washington on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that "these documents are real, they are authentic."
Others weren't so impressed.
Previous US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro insisted that his former boss, Barack Obama, was long aware of this information, and called Netanyahu's dramatic revelations "nothing new."
"We all expected Iran to lie," Shapiro told Israel's Army Radio. “But with oversight, the destruction of the centrifuges, and the removal of uranium, it was believed this would guarantee that Iran would not acquire a nuclear weapon over the next decade or decade and a half."
In other words, the Obama Administration knew Iran wasn't living up to the nuclear agreement, but decided to go along with it anyway in hopes that it would prevent Tehran from attaining nuclear weapons long enough that Obama himself couldn't be blamed. Or something like that.
Other allies also threw cold water on Netanyahu's presentation.
"We have never been naive about Iran and its nuclear intentions," insisted a spokesman for the British government. "That is why the IAEA inspection regime agreed as part of the Iran nuclear deal is one of the most extensive and robust in the history of international nuclear accords."
But the British failed to address the fact, verified by the IAEA itself on numerous occasions, that Iran very often bars international inspectors from freely inspecting certain nuclear sites.
Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s High Representative of for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, lashed out at Netanyahu for going public with this information rather than following the proper channels:
"If any party and if any country has information of non-compliance, of any kind, it can and should address and channel this information to the proper, legitimate, recognized mechanisms, the IAEA and the Joint Commission [of the JCPOA] for the monitoring of the nuclear deal that I chair and that I convened just a couple of months ago. We have mechanisms in place to address eventual concerns."
Of course, just before saying that Mogherini had argued that the shocking evidence obtained by Israel's Mossad proved nothing in regards to Iran's nuclear ambitions, which might explain precisely why Netanyahu decided to go directly to the public.