Iran’s deputy foreign minister signaled on Monday that his nation may withdraw from nuclear deal with the U.S. and other western countries, calling it “no longer sustainable.”
“The status quo of the deal is simply not sustainable for us, whether or not the Americans get out of the deal,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said, according to the Iranian Students News Agency.
Araghchi said Iran is “preparing all necessary options for any scenario.”
Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi says nuclear agreement "unsustainable" regardless of whether or not the U.S. withdraws, notes that Iran is "preparing all necessary options for any scenario." (Haaretz)
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) April 30, 2018
The deputy foreign minister’s remarks came shortly before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed in a televised speech that Iran is continuing to work on a “secret” nuclear weapons program.
“Iran lied, big time,” Netanyahu said. “After signing the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran intensified its efforts to hide its secret nuclear files.”
We’ve shared this material with the United States, and the United States can vouch for its authenticity. We will also share it with other countries, and we’ll share it with the International Atomic Energy Agency. pic.twitter.com/qjijiPUAo5
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) April 30, 2018
“In 2017, Iran moved its nuclear weapons files to a highly secret location in Tehran,” he added. “Few Iranians knew where it was, very few, and also a few Israelis.”
The prime minister said Israel acquired the nuclear program files a few weeks ago from the secret location “in a great intelligence achievement”
The Israelis secured 55,000 pages outlining the program along with 55,000 files on 183 CDs.
“Here’s what the files included,” Netanyahu said, as he flashed examples of what he described as “incriminating documents, incriminating charts, incriminating presentations, incriminating blueprints, incriminating photos, and more” onto a screen behind him.
“We’ve shared this material with the United States, and the United States can vouch for its authenticity,” he said. “We will also share it with other countries, and we’ll share it with the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
Netanyahu’s revelation comes as President Donald Trump faces a May 12 deadline whether to re-certifiy the Iran nuclear deal.
The prime minister has been one of the most vocal opponents of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by United States, Great Britain, Germany, China, Russia, France and Iran.
In exchange for relief from economic sanctions, Iran agreed to significantly curtail its nuclear program over a 10-year period.
During a press conference Monday at the White House, Trump was asked about Netanyahu’s comments and responded saying he has been making the point that Iran is not adhering to the deal.
“You know in seven years that deal will have expired and Iran is free to go ahead and create nuclear weapons. That’s not acceptable,” the president contended. “Seven years is tomorrow.”
Trump on Israeli PM's claims that Iran violated nuclear deal: "That just is not an acceptable situation." @POTUS says he has yet to decide whether the U.S. will pull out of nuclear agreement with Iran. https://t.co/V38T0PnUBi pic.twitter.com/KoHtpb2DXM
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 30, 2018
Trump added if he does decide to pull the U.S. out of the deal, “that does not mean we won’t negotiate a real agreement.”
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