Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday claimed to have evidence that Iran has lied about its nuclear program and urged President Donald Trump to “do the right thing” and pull out of the 2015 deal reached in hopes of curbing Iran's ambitions.
Netanyahu, a longtime opponent of the nuclear agreement, said Israeli forces had recently seized roughly “half a ton” of documentation from Iran detailing what he called the nation’s past attempts to conceal a military nuclear program. Iran has always insisted that it is developing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
“These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it said it never had a nuclear weapons program," Netanyahu said. He added that Iran's missile program carries on with the long-term goal of pairing with a future nuclear capability. "They're planning much longer-range missiles to carry nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.
The files appear to predate the 2015 nuclear deal and thus would not constitute a violation of that agreement. Many U.S. officials and experts have long believed that Iran conducted researched into the development of nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu spoke less than two weeks before a May 12 deadline that President Donald Trump has cited as a decision point he may use to withdraw from the multinational agreement negotiated by the Obama administration.
"That is just not an acceptable situation," Trump said at the White House Monday in response to a question about Netanyahu's speech.
The more-than 100,000 files and roughly 180 CDs Netanyahu claims Israel obtained prove the nuclear deal was negotiated in poor faith, he said.
"The Iran deal, the nuclear deal, is based on lies. It's based on Iranian lies and Iranian deception,” he said. “This is a terrible deal. It should never have been concluded. And in a few days, President Trump will make his decision on what to do with the nuclear deal. I'm sure he will do the right thing."
President Barack Obama negotiated the nuclear agreement with Iran and five other nations, including Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia and China.