Netanyahu exposes previously unknown nuclear weapons site in Iran

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Netanyahu said the facility was in a region of Iran called Abadeh. He showed satellite images of the site before July, 2019 after which Iran – somehow – discovered Israel had learned of the site.

By Herb Keinon

September 9, 2019 20:47

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed what he said was a newly discovered Iranian nuclear weapons development site at Abadeh, south of Isfahan, during a hastily called press conference Monday afternoon.

The prime minister showe satellite photos of the site taken in June, and then – after the Iranians discovered that the site had been uncovered – pictures from July showing their attempts to cover-up and destroy the site. “They destroyed the evidence, or at least tried to destroy the evidence,” he said.

Netanyahu, who spoke briefly in both Hebrew and English, said that he has a message “to the tyrants of Tehran.”

“Israel knows what you are doing, Israel knows when you are doing it, Israel knows where you are doing it,” he said. “We will continue to expose your lies. What you see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception and violations.”

The revelation comes a year after Netanyahu – during a speech at the UN – exposed what he called a “secret nuclear warehouse” in the Turquzabad neighborhood in Tehran for storing materials and equipment for Iran’s nuclear program, and a year and a half after he unveiled Iran’s secret nuclear archives that the Mossad spirited out of the country.

Netanyahu said the Abadeh site – where Iran “conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons” – was first exposed in the nuclear archives.

The prime minister called on the international community to “wake up” and “realize that Iran is systematically lying.” He called on the international community to “join President Trump’s sanctions to exert more pressure on Iran. The only way to stop Iran’s march to the bomb and its aggression in the region is pressure, pressure and more pressure.”

Netanyahu’s announcement came a few hours after IAEA’s acting director-general, Cornel Feruta, said at a meeting of the organization’s board of governors in Vienna that “time was of the essence” for Iran to explain how uranium particles were found at the Turquzabad site which Iran originally said was a carpet-cleaning facility.

Netanyahu said that the discovery of traces of uranium at the site,  and Iran’s refusal to provide an explanation to the IAEA, is a direct violation of the Non Proliferation Treaty which Iran has signed. The prime minister showed satellite images of how the Iranians tried to cover up the site with gravel.

As he left the podium in the Foreing Ministry, with pictures of the newly revealed site on a screen behind him, Netanyahu joked – in a reference to the controversy over placing cameras at polling places – “it is important that there are cameras everywhere.”

Netanyahu’s political opponents quickly accused Netanyahu of a cynical use of intelligence information to promote his election campaign.

“Netanyahu is again using intelligence information for his campaign propaganda,” Blue and White co-leader Yair Lapid said. “This is terrible national irresponsibility. Iranian nukes cannot be used as campaign antics.”

And the Democratic Union’s Ehud Barak dismissed Netanyahu’s statement eight days before the election as mere “election spin.”

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office deflected those charges, saying that security officials recommended that Netanyahu deliver his statement immediately after Feruta’s comments in Vienna.

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