Israel exposes Iranian nuclear program after secret Mossad raid

Netanyahu reveals the Iranian Secret Atomic Archive, 2018 (Photo: screenshot)

“Iran lied. Big time.”

That was the premise of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bombshell speech on Monday night in which he revealed “half a ton” of secret documents, obtained by Israeli intelligence from a secret location in Iran, showing the extent of its nuclear bomb program. 

“Iran did not come clean about its nuclear program,” Netanyahu said.

“Iran’s leaders repeatedly denied ever pursuing nuclear weapons,” and they continue to, Netanyahu said, playing recent clips of Iranians leaders stating they never wanted to produce a bomb — in direct contradiction to the newly obtained files. 

“The nuclear deal is based on Iranian lies and Iranian deception,” he argued.

After signing an international nuclear deal in 2015, Iran intensified its efforts to hide its program rather than scrap it as agreed to. Instead Iran moved the program to a highly secret location, using a “dilapidated” warehouse to store the files, the prime minister alleged. 

Israeli intelligence became aware of this location and in a secret raid one night in January slipped away with the information, according to The New York Times which quoted an anonymous intelligence official. Netanyahu praised Israeli intelligence but did not give details on how the information was smuggled out of Iran. 

With 55,000 pages of documents and 183 discs of information now in Israel’s possession, Netanyahu exposed Iran’s “atomic archive,” which had allegedly been shelved in 2003. He purposely spoke in English so that the international audience could hear the prime-time address aired live around the world.

Netanyahu said the mission statement of “Project Amad” was to “design, produce and test five warheads each with 10 kiloton of TNT yield for integration on missiles.”

“We can now prove that Project Amad was a comprehensive program to design, build and test nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “We can also prove that Iran is secretly storing project Amad material to use at a time of its choice to develop nuclear weapons.” 

“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.

Some intelligence experts and diplomats said the presentation lacked a “smoking gun” showing that Iran had violated the terms of the agreement. However, Haaretz quoted a diplomatic source who said that if the international nuclear watchdog had these details “the Iran deal would never have taken place.”

“The deal was conditioned on an IAEA report that cleared Iran of military nuclear activity. Iran reported there were no such activities and on the basis of those lies, the official said, Iran got a clean bill,” the paper reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has until May 12, 2018 to decide whether the U.S. will walk away from the deal, said that Netanyahu’s speech “showed that I was 100 percent right” in criticizing the nuclear agreement.

The Mossad has briefed its counterparts in the United States and is in the process of sharing the information with other intelligence services.

The White House in a statement said this revelation “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,” the White House added. “Iran must never have nuclear weapons.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, briefed by Israel on Sunday, said “there are thousands of new documents and new information.” 

“I know that there are people talking about these documents not being authentic,” he said. “I can confirm with you, for you, that these documents are real, they are authentic.”