Netanyahu to Address Country With ‘Dramatic News’ on Iran

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu uses a chart as he speaks about the Iranian nuclear program during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 at U.N. headquarters in New York. (Avi Ohayon/ GPO/ Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to make an announcement Monday evening (8 p.m. Israel time, 1 p.m. EDT) in what his office said would be a “significant development regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran.”

Although Netanyahu’s office did not immediately offer further details, a report on Channel Two said that Netanyahu will expose “newly obtained information” on Iran’s nuclear program, just 12 days ahead of President Donald Trump’s decision on the future of the deal.

According to Amit Segal of Channel Two, Israel has obtained a vast amount of documents, exposing Iran’s latest cheat patterns on the nuclear deal.

President Trump has given European signatories to the 2105 deal a May 12 deadline to “fix the terrible flaws” in the agreement, or he will refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief on Iran.

Netanyahu’s annoucement comes hours after a Security Cabinet meeting held in Tel Aviv during which an “important development” in the matter of the international agreement with Iran on its nuclear program was discussed.

Israel has long accused Iran of using the agreement as a fig leaf to continue with its nuclear development program, and in recent months the United States has adopted that stance as well.

Earlier Monday, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy organization, said that Iran has the technical capability to enrich uranium to a higher level than it could before a multinational nuclear deal was reached to curb its nuclear program.

Salehi warned Trump against taking this course. “Iran is not bluffing. …  Technically, we are fully prepared to enrich uranium higher than we used to produce before the deal was reached…. I hope Trump comes to his senses and stays in the deal.”

Under the deal, which led to the lifting of most international sanctions in 2016, Iran’s level of enrichment must remain around 3.6 percent.

Iran stopped producing 20-percent enriched uranium and gave up the majority of its stockpile as part of the agreement with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.

Uranium refined to 20-percent fissile purity is well beyond the 5 percent normally required to fuel civilian nuclear power plants, though still well short of highly enriched, or 80-90 percent, purity needed for a nuclear bomb.

Tehran has ruled out any possibility of negotiating over the country’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 and its international role in the Middle East, as demanded by Presidemt Trump.

Britain, France and Germany back the deal as the best way of stopping Tehran getting nuclearweapons, but have called on Iran to limit its regional influence and curb the missile program.