Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons in privy but destroyed it the 'secret site' after it was discovered by Israel. Iran destroyed the site located near the city of Abadeh, South of Isfahan, sometime between late June and late July, Benjamin Netanyahu alleged. During a press brief, Benjamin Netanyahu made the accusation with photos of the alleged site on a large screen behind him and referred to an intelligence trove, he had previously announced in 2018.
"Today we reveal that yet another secret nuclear site was exposed in the archives that we brought from Tehran," Netanyahu said. "In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons... When Iran realised that we uncovered the site, here's what they did: They destroyed the site, they just wiped it out."
The Prime Minister, whose country is an arch-enemy of Iran and a strong ally of the Trump administration, did not provide further details on the alleged experiments, or when the purportedly were held.
Meanwhile, Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, however, he announced the intelligence trove allegedly obtained from a secret compound in Tehran, Benjamin Netanyahu said he had new "proof" of an Iranian nuclear weapons plan that could be activated at any time.
Despite leveling serious allegations of a 'secret nuclear program,' Benjamin Netanyahu did not provide any evidence to back his claims that Tehran had actively worked to obtain the nuclear bombs since the crucial 2015 nuclear deal of the Obama era with significant world powers.
Netanyahu's allegations come days ahead of the Israel election, wherein the Prime Minister is facing a tough re-election campaign, with Israel Opposition accusing him of politicising intelligence through his presentation. "Netanyahu is again using intelligence information for his election propaganda," Yair Lapid of the centrist Blue and White alliance said on Twitter.
"The Iranian nuclear (issue) cannot be used for campaign antics," the Opposition said.
The accusations come concurrently to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reportedly finding traces of uranium at a site that Iran has not yet explained. The UN nuclear watchdog told Iran to respond over the uninformed traces of uranium found at the location.
Iran has been breaching the crucial 2015 nuclear deal by installing more advanced centrifuges and is enriching uranium within them that has been banned as a part of the deal. However, Iran has been pushing the boundaries of the deal to pressurise the European signatories- France, Germany, Britain over Donald Trump's crippling economic sanctions on Iran. China in response called on to the US to "give up" on its "wrong approach" of imposing unilateral sanctions against the Middle Eastern country.
Donald Trump pulled out of the crucial nuclear deal, that was strongly opposed by Benjamin Netanyahu, who even urged the US President to withdraw. Despite having opposed the deal, he has recently called on European nations to enforce its parameters as he and the United States seek to raise the pressure on Iran. European nations have been trying to keep the nuclear deal alive.
Speculation has meanwhile mounted over whether Trump could soon meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, with the US leader saying earlier this month that "anything is possible". But the Iranian leader last week ruled out holding any bilateral talks with the United States. Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that "I call on the international community to join President Trump's sanctions to exert more pressure on Iran."
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zavad Zarif dismissing the claims made by Israeli Prime Minister said that Benjamin Netanyahu is 'crying wolf.' The Iran Minister moreover shared a photo from the 1986 Sunday Times report, exposing Israel's nuclear activities.
However, Zarif did not mention the alleged Iranian nuclear site and neither did he bring up the satellite photo that was shown by Benjamin Netanyahu during a press brief in Jerusalem on Monday.
(With PTI inputs)