Mike Pompeo: Israel Proved Iran Lied About Nuclear Weapons

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he personally reviewed Israel’s cache of documents about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme and believes Tehran lied to the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented what he said was evidence that Iran secretly pursued a nuclear weapons programme both before and after the controversial deal in 2015 to curb its nuclear research in exchange for a relaxation of economic sanctions, breaching the historic agreement.

Tehran has always maintained that its nuclear programme was solely for civil energy purposes. Iran accused Netanyahu of rehashing old intelligence to make a political stunt as President Trump mulls whether to pull the U.S. out of the Iran deal, which he opposes. Trump will decide by May 12.

“For many years, the Iranian regime has insisted to the world that its nuclear program was peaceful,” Pompeo said in a statement. “The documents obtained by Israel from inside of Iran show beyond any doubt that the Iranian regime was not telling the truth.”

Pompeo Netanyahu Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting at the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 29, 2018. Thomas Coex/Pool via Reuters

Pompeo said the State Department had worked to analyze tens of thousands of pages and translate them from Farsi, and that this work would continue for many months, but officials already think the documents “are authentic.”

“The documents show that Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program for years. Iran sought to develop nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems,” Pompeo said.

He also said Iran “lied” repeatedly about its nuclear weapons programme to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) instead of turning over its files to the agency’s inspectors and admitting what it was doing, which it had “many opportunities” to do.

“They also lied about their program to the six nations who negotiated the Iran nuclear deal,” he said, referring to the signatories of The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015.

“What this means is the deal was not constructed on a foundation of good faith or transparency. It was built on Iran’s lies. Iran’s nuclear deception is inconsistent with Iran’s pledge in the nuclear deal ‘that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop, or acquire any nuclear weapons.’”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Netanyahu of "crying wolf."

"Pres. Trump is jumping on a rehash of old allegations already dealt with by the IAEA to 'nix' the deal," Zarif wrote on Twitter. "How convenient. Coordinated timing of alleged intelligence revelations by the boy who cries wolf just days before May 12. But Trump’s impetuousness to celebrate blew the cover."

Zarif added a few hours later: "On 4/12, Pompeo testified no need to worry about nixing JCPOA as Iran 'not racing to a weapon before the deal', nor would 'turn to race to…weapon' after. Now says 'time to revisit question of whether Iran can be trusted to enrich…any nuclear material'. So, which one is it?"

The other signatories of the JCPOA are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany. They remain committed to the deal and are lobbying President Trump to stick with it.

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