In 2015, after more 10 years of negotiations, Iran and six major world powers, including the United States, reached a landmark nuclear deal that could transform the politics of the Middle East, for the better.
On May 12, President Donald Trump will decide whether to honor the historic agreement or scrap it, thereby, perhaps killing any chance of avoiding a major armed conflict in the embattled region.
While the final decision could be anything, many believe Trump will choose to withdraw since he has been an ardent critic of the deal ever since it was reached during the Obama administration. In addition, two of the most important members of his cabinet, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are notoriously opposed to having any negotiations with Iran.
Keenly aware of the Trump administration's position on the deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to chime in with his two cents.
Netanyahu, like Trump, has also opposed the nuclear agreement since its inception. However, with the May 12 deadline looming, the Israeli leader ramped up his anti-Iran rhetoric with a PowerPoint presentation, the gist of which was, "Iran lied."
Netanyahu claimed Israel has evidence that Iran kept expanding its nuclear arsenal despite signing the agreement.
“Iran’s leaders repeatedly deny ever pursuing nuclear weapons,” he stated. “After signing the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran intensified its efforts to hide its secret files. In 2017 Iran moved its nuclear weapons files to a highly secret location in Tehran.”
It was a good 20-minute presentation but Netanyahu did not provide any sort of evidence, despite claiming Israel has "half a ton" of documents to prove Iran's "lies."
It wasn't surprising, though.
The Israeli PM has a long history of fearmongering when it comes to Iran, that too without providing any credible evidence. For instance, in 1992, when he was a parliamentarian, Netanyahu stood in the Knesset and claimed Iran was “three to five years” away from reaching nuclear weapon capabilities. Almost three years later, he forgot about what he said and stated in his book, Fighting Terrorism, that Iran would have a nuclear weapon in — again — “three to five years.” In 2012, he even drew a cartoon nuclear bomb while addressing the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, to show Iran was on the "final stage" of its nuclear program.
Nearly six years down the lane, there is still no evidence if Iran has reached that final stage.
In response to Netanyahu's latest anti-Iran fearmongering attempt, the United Nations released a statement, saying there are "no credible indications" that Iran continued nuclear activity after 2009.
This means Iran didn't lie about the nuclear program but, as it turns out, Netanyahu did.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters