The secret nuclear documents obtained by the Mossad and presented on Monday night by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back the Trump administration’s demands for greater access to Iran’s military nuclear sites, Amos Yadlin said on Tuesday.In a press briefing organized by Media Central, the former IDF intelligence chief said the documents could advance Netanyahu and President Donald Trump’s apparent common goal of amending or canceling the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. There are a range of “holes” that Netanyahu and Trump would like to plug in the deal. But Yadlin said that the documents showing in graphic and voluminous detail Tehran’s lies about the existence of its past nuclear weapons program should at the very least give Trump the upper hand versus the Iranians in demanding “anytime anywhere” access to military nuclear sites.Under the 2015 agreement, the IAEA nuclear inspectors have a vast inspection regime installed on all Iranian civilian nuclear facilities and have the right to visit Iranian military nuclear sites.However, Iran can initially refuse access – which would kick off a 24-day conflict resolution process during which any illegal nuclear materials could be moved to another site.Based on this setup and disputed accounts regarding an IAEA visit to the Iranian nuclear military site of Parchin, critics of the deal have said that the inspection regime has a gaping hole for Iran to continue to move toward nuclear weapons clandestinely.
Injecting Netanyahu’s newly unveiled Iran nuclear documents into this dispute, Yadlin said that it supported Netanyahu’s argument that “the deal does not give enough instruments to do good and efficient inspections, and should be fixed.”He continued, “Inspections were basically done according to Iranian reservations. There were no sections at military bases. Aman is on a military base and there are other sites,” referring to the Iranian nuclear group “Aman” cited by Netanyahu in part of the documents proving Iran’s concealment of its weapons program.“The prime minister feels that now we have a better argument to show the deal is full of holes,” said Yadlin, speaking around the same time that Netanyahu told a briefing of reporters that key European countries’ intelligence officers would visit Israel soon to review what the Mossad had netted.The implication was that the Europeans will now agree with Trump and Netanyahu that Iran could not push for the benefit of the doubt and needed to agree to greater access to inspectors of military sites, in light of the damning evidence of how much of its nuclear weapons program it had hidden.At the same time, Yadlin said that most of the documents Netanyahu presented detailed Iran’s cheating on nuclear limits during 1999-2003. In other words, he said Netanyahu had not yet put forth “smoking gun” evidence of new Iranian violations since the 2015 deal – other than Iran’s continued lying about its past.The former intelligence chief said that Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon had told him there was non-public evidence of Iranian violations subsequent to the 2015 nuclear deal, but that he could not confirm or deny whether that was true.Kahlon did not deny the comment, though he also refused to confirm it.For his own part, Yadlin has always had reservations about the deal, but tends to be more in favor of fixing than of nixing, asking “What is the alternative?”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adresses Iranian nuclear activity, April 30th, 2018. (Credit: GPO)