Iran: Netanyahu an 'infamous liar,' comments aimed at influencing Trump

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 01, 2018, 06.30 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

Iran on Tuesday called Israel Prime Minister an "infamous liar" after his comments over Iran having secret nuclear weapons program that could increase pressure on the United States to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal. 

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Tuesday that Benjamin Netanyahu's speech was a "repetition" of past accusations, which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has already disproven.

Reports say that Netanyahu's comments were made in a bid to influence Trump's upcoming decision about the nuclear deal, but Tehran is ready for any scenario by Trump. 

Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson, Bahram Ghasemi, also criticises Netanyahu's "propaganda", adding that he did not have anything to offer except lies. 

Meanwhile, Netanyahu informed US President Donald Trump about evidence of a past secret Iranian nuclear arms programme in March, a senior Israeli official said, a move apparently aimed at killing an international deal with Tehran that both leaders oppose.

Trump agreed Israel would publish the information before May 12, the date by which he is due to decide whether the United States should quit the nuclear deal with Iran, an arch foe of both countries, the Israeli official said.

Netanyahu, on Monday, said that he has evidence that the Iran officials have been lying about the secret nuclear weapons program and that they have an "automative archive" at an unknown compound. 

Intelligence experts and diplomats said Netanyahu's presentation, in a prime-time television presentation, did not seem to have a "smoking gun" showing a violation by Iran but it could strengthen the hand of advisers to US President Donald Trump who want to scrap the nuclear agreement.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the information showed that Iran's leaders lied to their people about a nuclear weapons program known as "Project Amad". But Pompeo declined to say whether the documents provided evidence of a violation of the nuclear deal.

Most of the purported evidence Netanyahu presented dated to the period before the 2015 accord was signed, although he said Iran had also kept important files on nuclear technology since then, and continued adding to its "nuclear weapons knowledge".

Pompeo said that while the existence of the Amad nuclear project was known for some time, the new material discovered by the Israelis will help better understand the scope and scale of the program.

He added that the documents make "very clear that at the very least the Iranians have continued to lie to their own people." Asked whether the information indicated a violation of the Iran nuclear agreement, Pompeo responded: "I'll leave that to lawyers. The president will ultimately have to make a determination about that too."