“You have to ask yourself a question: Why did Iran keep a secret atomic archive and a secret atomic warehouse?” Netanyahu stated in his address to the UN General Assembly.
By World Israel News Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran on Thursday of keeping a “secret atomic warehouse” just outside its capital, despite the 2015 deal with world powers that was meant to keep it from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Holding up a poster-board map of an area near Tehran before world leaders at the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu said Iranian officials were keeping tons of nuclear equipment and material in a warehouse near a rug-cleaning operation.
Netanyahu’s disclosure came four months after Israel announced the existence of what it said was a “half-ton” of Iranian nuclear documents obtained by Israeli intelligence in the Shourabad neighborhood near Tehran. Israel said the cache proved that Iranian leaders covered up their nuclear weapons program before signing the nuclear agreement. Iran hasn’t acknowledged the alleged seizure.
‘What Iran hides, Israel will find’
“You have to ask yourself a question: Why did Iran keep a secret atomic archive and a secret atomic warehouse?” he asked. “What Iran hides, Israel will find.”
The new site Netanyahu identified sits a short distance from Shourabad.
There was no immediate official response from Tehran. Iran’s mission to the UN did not respond to a request for comment. Iran’s state-run, English-language Press TV channel carried Netanyahu’s remarks live but cut away after he made the allegation about the nuclear warehouse.
The 2015 Iran nuclear deal came after years of Western sanctions over the country’s contested atomic program. The West long has feared it could be used to build nuclear bombs. Iran long has denied seeking atomic weapons.
Under terms of the deal, Iran is allowed to keep documents and other research. The deal strictly limits how many centrifuges Iran can use and how large of a low-enriched uranium stockpile the country can keep.
Netanyahu said the warehouse stored “massive amounts of equipment and materiel.” He said Israel shared the information with the UN atomic watchdog, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency. The agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment
Message to Hezbollah
In Lebanon, Iran is directing Hezbollah, the prime minister said.
“Hezbollah is deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields,” placing missile sites along Beirut’s international airport, he said, showing a drawing of the area.
“So I have a message for Hezbollah today,” he stated. “Israel also knows what you’re doing, Israel knows where you’re doing it and Israel will not let you get away with it.”
Iran denies charge
Iranian state television said Netanyahu’s remarks about a secret Iranian nuclear warehouse were “ridiculous,” claiming that Iran is committed to nonproliferation and Iran’s nuclear program is under surveillance of the UN nuclear watchdog.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported Netanyahu’s remarks with barely disguised disdain, saying he “annually launches a ridiculous show at the UN General Assembly.”