Update 2: Commeting on Netanyahu's speech, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says allegations made by the Israel prime minister are lies aiming to deceive people and some governments, state-run FARS reports.
"The speech of Netanyahu and some American circles behind him are mere false claims that don’t matter"
Meanwhile, Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, said Israeli presentation accusing Iran of hiding a secret nuclear arms project shows how far it is willing to go to end the nuclear deal: "We are prepared for all scenarios. But this really shows how much theAmericans, the Zionist regime and the Saudis are worried about the opportunities that the nuclear deal provides Iran and the lengths they’ll go to stop it,” he said in comments aired on state TV.
Araghchi called the presentation “laughable” and says Israel has used an “old, worn-out scenario.”
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Update: shortly after Netanyahu's speech, Trump addressed reporters at the White House with the following comments on the Iran revelations and nuclear deal, from Bloomberg:
- *TRUMP SAYS HE SAW PARTS OF NETANYAHU'S SPEECH ON IRAN
- *TRUMP DECLINES TO SAY WHAT HE'LL DO ON IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
- *TRUMP LEAVES OPEN POSSIBILITY OF NEGOTIATING NEW IRAN DEAL
- *TRUMP SAYS HE HAS BEEN `100% RIGHT' ON IRAN SO FAR
Trump on the Iran deal:— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) April 30, 2018
“I'm not telling you what I'm doing, but a lot of people think they know. And on or before the 12th we'll make a decision. That doesn't mean we won't negotiate a real agreement.” pic.twitter.com/zctqdnm79e
In other words, no decision just yet.
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Oil is soaring to $69.34/bbl, the highest price since 2014, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of secretly developing and building nuclear weapons.
In a global televised address, Netanyahu unveiled a cache of 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs, comprising Iran's alleged "atomic archive" of documents on its nuclear program; the files allegedly prove Tehran ran a secret program, called Project Amad, to "test and build nuclear weapons."
While Iranian leaders have long said their nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, Netanyahu claimed this was not the case according to tens of thousands of pages of documents, which he said were copied from a "highly secret location" in Iran.
Those files detail Project Amad, which Netanyahu described as "a comprehensive program to design, build and test nuclear weapons."
“These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program,” Netanyahu said. “The files prove that.”
He says the US has vouched for the authenticity of the secret archive obtained by Israel, and that it would make the documents available to the UN atomic agency and other countries.
According to Netanyahu, the files provided "new and conclusive proof of the secret nuclear weapons program that Iran has been hiding for years from the international community in its secret atomic archive."
Netanyahu concluded by saying "Iran lied about never having a secret nuclear program. Secondly, even after the deal, it continued to expand its nuclear program for future use. Thirdly, Iran lied by not coming clean to the IAEA," he said, adding that, "the nuclear deal is based on lies based on Iranian deception."
Watch a recording to Netanyahu's speech below:
In a rare move, Netanyahu called the heads of Israel's two news broadcasts and updated them with the content of his planned statement.
Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, said before Netanyahu's speech that the prime minister is just "the boy who can't stop crying wolf at it again."
BREAKING: The boy who can't stop crying wolf is at it again. Undeterred by cartoon fiasco at UNGA. You can only fool some of the people so many times. pic.twitter.com/W7saODfZDK— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 30, 2018
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As we noted earlier, according to Axios Bibi's speech would be "hugely helpful for Trump" as it "builds the public case for Trump to blow up the Iran deal on May 12 by reimposing sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and central bank."
In other words, it was up to Netanyahu to provide the media with cover for the next regional conflict: that between the US, its allies, Saudi Arabia and of course Israel on one side and Iran, Syria, Russia, and potentially China on the other. Or, as some would say, a true potential world war.
And sure enough, Bibi did not disappoint, delivering just as expected.
Netanyahu's remarks come less than two weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump must decide whether to continue suspending sanctions against Iran under that deal, or restore the penalties on one of the world's biggest oil producers.
The announcement also followed a meeting between Netanyahu and newly sworn-in secretary of State Mike Pompeo this weekend.
"We've shared this material with the United States and the United States can vouch for its authenticity," Netanyahu said.
The speech also comes just after an airstrike in Syria Sunday night in which 200 missiles were destroyed and 11 Iranians were killed, according to pro-Assad sources. Various reports attribute the strike to Israel, but the origin of the attack remains unconfirmed.
According to several Syrian media outlets, the strikes targeted the 47th Brigade base in the southern Hama district, a military facility in northwestern Hama, and a facility north of the Aleppo International Airport. The strike reportedly targeted an arms depot of missiles.
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Some more highlights from Bibi's just concluded speech:
- NETANYAHU SAYS ISRAEL CAN REVEAL "NEW AND CONCLUSIVE PROOF" THAT IRAN HAS BEEN HIDING NUCLEAR WEAPONS ACTIVITY
- NETANYAHU SAYS HE WILL SHOW `SOMETHING WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN'
- NETANYAHU SAYS HE WILL REVEAL IRAN'S `SECRET NUCLEAR FILES
- NETANYAHU SAYS "IRAN LIED" AFTER SIGNING NUCLEAR DEAL
- ISRAEL HAS SECRET FILES FROM IRAN NUCLEAR PLANS: NETANYAHU
- NETANYAHU SAYS ISRAEL HAS SHARED INCRIMINATING FILES WITH U.S.
- NETANYAHU SAYS U.S. HAS VERIFIED AUTHENTICITY OF FILES
- NETANHAYU SAYS IRAN HAD SECRET PLAN TO BUILD NUCLEAR WEAPONS
The punchline: Netanyahu accuses Iran of having a secret plan called "Project Amad" whose has a goal to produce five 10-kiloton nuclear weapons:
And some more soundbites:
- NETANYAHU SAYS PROJECT HAD ALL COMPONENTS FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS
- NETANYAHU SAYS FILES PROVE IRAN `BRAZENLY LYING'
- NETANYAHU DISPLAYS ALLEGED IMAGES OF SECRET IRAN ARCHIVES
- NETANYAHU SAYS COVERT WORK CONTINUED BY IRAN OVER THE YEARS
- NETANYAHU SAYS 100,000 `SECRET FILES' PROVE IRAN LYING
- NETANYAHU SAYS IRAN DEAL `SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN CONCLUDED'
And now the ball is in Trump's court:
- NETANYAHU SAYS HE'S SURE TRUMP WILL `DO RIGHT THING' ON DEAL
Which means that Trump's next tweet could end the price of oil soaring, and potentially greenlight a middle-eastern conflict far greater than the proxy war in Syria.