Netanyahu: European delegations will come to examine Iran evidence

Russia and China have not yet decided if they will accept Israel's invitation to examine new evidence on Iran's clandestine nuclear activity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adresses Iranian nuclear activity, April 30th, 2018. (Credit: GPO)
Delegations from Germany, France and the United Kingdom plan to arrive in Israel as early as this weekend to study a trove of 100,000 Iranian nuclear documents Israel secretly managed to obtain from a hidden vault in Tehran.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the leaders of those E3 countries after he unveiled some of the documents at a televised press conference on Sunday night. He then spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as China's Xi Jinping.
Those two nations have yet to decide whether or to accept his invitation.
Israel obtained the documents from the Iranian vault in February and Netanyahu personally presented the information to US President Donald Trump at a meeting between the two men in Washington on March 5.
Trump agreed that Israel would publish the information before May 12, the date by which he is due to decide whether to pull the United States out of the 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers - the US, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
All of the secret documents, which are in the original Farsi, have been studied by all relevant authorities.
According to a senior intelligence officer involved in the operation, Israel had never received so much original intelligence information like it did in February, when Israel obtained 55,000 pages of documents and another 55,000 files on 183 CDs.
“It’s a significant amount of information which expands the knowledge we had on Iran’s program,” the officer said, adding that the best translators in the Mossad are still working on the documents in Farsi, allowing for the possibility that additional intelligence will be gleaned from the remaining documents.
The authenticity of the documents makes it impossible for Iran to continue to deny their nuclear program, the officer continued, stressing that the evidence that Israel now has is on a “whole different level.”
According to him, Israel cannot present all of the “truly incriminating photos” that Jerusalem now has in its possession “because they clearly show how to build an atomic weapon.”
“We have a different level of proof of their weapons programs, and that it was ordered by the Iranian leadership. We have new details on the equipment the Iranians have, who are the people involved, and more. Iran will need to explain all of them,” he said.
While half a ton of documents were smuggled from what was described as a “dilapidated warehouse” in the southern Tehran neighborhood of Shorabad to Israel, some documents were left behind because “it was very heavy,” the intelligence officer said.
The documents focus on Iran’s development of a nuclear weapons program from 1999 to 2003, known as Project Amad. Israel has long known of the program’s existence, but lacked the kind of definitive proof it obtained through February’s massive intelligence operation.
“We have now turned our question marks into exclamation points,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
“We verified what we suspected but could not prove and we also learned new things about Iran’s military nuclear program,” Netanyahu said.
The 2015 agreement was based in part on Iran’s assertion that it had not developed a nuclear weapons program. Had these documents been uncovered three years ago, it is doubtful that such an agreement would have been signed, Netanyahu said.
He spoke with Israeli reporters in the aftermath of his initial press conference and held interviews with CNN and Fox.
Senior intelligence officials who also spoke with reporters said the significance of the documents was not about the information they provided with respect to Iranian compliance about the 2015 agreement, but rather the definitive proof it provides that Iran had a nuclear weapons program and had not destroyed essential documentation to continue that program.
"There's also a question of why they have this archive and why they actively hid it in a building which from the outside looks abandoned,” the senior intelligence officer stated. “If Iran never developed and never planned to develop nuclear weapons, then why would they do this?"
The documentation gives the international community the ability to speak truth to Iranian lies with regard to its nuclear ambitions, officials said.
Officials said that Israel had always said it wanted to stop Iran’s nuclear program, but had not spoken of how.
Asked if Israel is prepared to go to war against Iran, Netanyahu told CNN in an interview: "Nobody's seeking that kind of development. Iran is the one that's changing the rules in the region."
Netanyahu publicized the material part of his continued campaign against the deal. It was aimed less at Europe then at the US, which is about to make a fateful decision with regard to the deal.
Netanyahu noted that in the end, Trump will make his own decision. “He is a leader who knows how to make decisions,” Netanyahu said.