Netanyahu: 'Iran Lied, Big Time'
Israeli leader says Tehran pursued nuclear weapons despite denials
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2018 1:48 PM CDT
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses Iran's nuclear development during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Monday, April 30 2018.   (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

(Newser) – Benjamin Netanyahu went on Israeli TV Monday night and issued a blunt accusation against the nation he sees as an arch-nemesis: "Iran lied," he declared. "Big time." Netanyahu said Israel had obtained a "half ton" of documents proving that Iran had been trying to develop nuclear weapons, something it has long denied, reports the AP. Netanyahu further asserted that Iran sought to cover up the weapons program before signing a 2015 deal with the international community. “Iran is brazenly lying when it said it never had a nuclear weapons program," said the Israeli prime minister. His office billed it as a bombshell development, though Tom DiChristopher of CNBC writes that Netanyahu's presentation "largely rehashed what the world long ago accepted: That Iran sought to develop nuclear weapons."

Still, the timing is significant, given that President Trump must decide by May 12 whether to continue to go along with the 2015 deal or reimpose sanctions, reports the Guardian. The newspaper notes that Netanyahu spoke to Trump by phone over the weekend and met in person with new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday. "We've shared this material with the United States and the United States can vouch for its authenticity," Netanyahu said on Monday. Iran did not immediately respond to the claims, but its foreign minister tweeted before the presentation that Netanyahu is "the boy who can't stop crying wolf" in regard to accusations about Iran. Netanyahu said Israel had obtained 55,000 documents and 183 CDs from the "nuclear archives" of Iran.

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