Iran Nuclear Weapons Program Was Active & Hidden, Says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Iran secretly hid the extent of its nuclear weapons ambitions, and Israel has tens of thousands of documents to back up that claim, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed on Monday.

As BBC News reports, Netanyahu, speaking in English from Tel Aviv, claimed that Iran's insistence that it never had nor tried to develop nuclear weapons was false.

The Iran Nuclear Deal, Explained

Back in 2015, during the Obama administration, the U.S. - along with China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany - instituted the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, colloquially referred to as the Iran Nuclear Deal. The deal was intended to ease crippling economic sanctions on Iran - sanctions that had been in place to curb the Middle Eastern regime's nuclear ambitions.

In exchange for the easing of the sanctions, Iran would scrap its plans to develop nuclear weapons, get rid of nuclear materials, and allow international inspections of suspected sites without warning.

Iran, for its part, appears to have kept its end of the deal: tons of enriched uranium have been shipped out of the country, and inspectors have been able to carry out their duties without interference.

Nevertheless, at the time of the deal, Iran insisted that its nuclear program was not military but was designed to produce nuclear energy.

Netanyahu claims they've been lying.

What Is Netanyahu's Evidence?

Netanyahu claims that Israeli intelligence officials obtained tens of thousands of documents and other forms of evidence from a "secret facility in Iran." Specifically, 55,000 pages of evidence and a further 55,000 files on 183 CDs pulled from the site indicate that Iran wasn't being honest about its nuclear program.

"Here's what the files included: incriminating documents, incriminating charts, incriminating presentations, incriminating blueprints, incriminating photos, incriminating videos and more. These files conclusively prove that Iran was brazenly lying when it said it never had a nuclear weapons program."
What's more, Netanyahu has already shared his findings with the U.S. and plans to share them with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Where Does The U.S. Fit In?

Donald Trump has long maintained that the nuclear deal doesn't go far enough and needs to be scrapped. And as Israeli News reports, in a Monday press conference, Trump indicated that Netanyahu's claim backs up his own belief that the Iran nuclear deal needs to be scrapped. Trump claimed that Netanyahu's speech "sends the right message" to Iran about its nuclear ambitions.