ISRAEL (OBSERVATORY) – Israel said on Tuesday it was not seeking a war with Iran, a day after it offered alleged evidence of Iranian nuclear-related activities in the past, but hinted that US President Donald Trump was in favor of its latest attempt to broker an agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. This was reported by Reuters.
A senior Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Trump on March 5 of Israel’s alleged evidence of what Netanyahu described in a presentation on Monday as “a great intelligence achievement.”
Trump agreed at the meeting that Israel would release information before May 12, when Trump was expected to decide whether the United States would withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal signed in 2015, Trump said.
The news of the negotiations between Trump and Netanyahu highlights the attempts to coordinate the two sides to support the international agreement, which was strongly criticized by the two.
In a televised statement on Monday night, Netanyahu offered what he said were Iranian documents proving that Iran was developing nuclear weapons before the 2015 agreement it signed with six world powers, including the United States.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters the Israeli announcement had provided evidence that Iran’s nuclear deal had been concluded “on false pretenses.”
“The president was very clear that he thought the agreement was one of the worst agreements we have ever seen and we will inform you when he makes a final decision.”
Netanyahu told CNN on Tuesday that “no one” was seeking a conflict with Iran, a prospect some expect as a possible consequence of the collapse of the deal.
Asked if Israel was ready for a war with Iran, Netanyahu said in an interview with CNN: “No one is seeking such a development. Iran is changing the rules in the region.”
But Netanyahu’s offer said Israel’s evidence suggested Iran had lied to pre-agreement negotiations, which Trump considers flawed, while European powers see it as necessary to allay fears that Tehran will develop nuclear bombs one day.
Tehran denies ever having sought nuclear weapons and dismissed Netanyahu’s claims as a hoax and said it was merely propaganda.
“We warn the Zionist regime and its allies that they must stop their dangerous machinations and actions, otherwise they will face a sudden and strong Iranian response,” Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying on Tuesday.
Khatami described Netanyahu’s accusations as “baseless”.
Former US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a series of Twitter tweets on Tuesday that the information disclosed by Israel was proof of why the agreement should be maintained.
“There were no negotiations – all that changed (by agreement),” said Kerry, who negotiated the deal. “You broke this agreement and you’ll be back tomorrow wherever you are!”
International and Israeli experts said Netanyahu had provided no evidence that Iran was violating the agreement.
But Netanyahu’s offer, almost in English, was an Israeli prelude to Trump’s apparent withdrawal from the agreement.
Tsahi Hanegbi, the Israeli regional development minister and a close associate of Netanyahu, said the Israeli offer was aimed at giving Trump a justification for breaking the agreement.
“In 12 days, a great drama will be revealed,” he said in an interview with Israeli Army Radio. The US president will probably withdraw from the agreement. ”
“What the prime minister did last night is that he gave Trump ammunition in the face of naiveté and European reluctance with regard to Iran.”
Under the deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, Iran has agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for easing international economic sanctions.
Trump gave Britain, France and Germany until May 12 to repair what he saw as flaws in the deal. He did not address the Iranian ballistic missile program, the terms of inspectors’ visit to Iranian sites, and paragraphs stipulating the suspension of certain items.
The senior Israeli official said Israel had been aware of the Iranian archives a year ago and had obtained the information in February and Trump was informed at a meeting in Washington on March 5.
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Israel has briefed China on the information and is scheduled to host experts from Britain, Germany and France for the weekend, the official said.
Most of Netanyahu’s alleged evidence dates back to the period leading up to the signing of the nuclear deal in 2015, although he said Iran has also hidden important files on nuclear technology since then and has continued to increase its “knowledge of nuclear weapons.”
Although the show was live on Israeli television, Netanyahu made it clear that his audience was abroad, and most of his speech was in English before he became Hebrew.
A 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate reported that intelligence had a “high degree of confidence” that Tehran had halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached a similar conclusion later.
“Nothing is new,” a Vienna-based diplomat who had been working with the IAEA for years, was asked about what he had learned from Netanyahu’s interview. Theater performance “.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mujerini said Netanyahu had not questioned Iran’s commitment to the agreement. The agreement “was concluded because there was no trust between the parties, otherwise we would not have called for a nuclear agreement.”
Hanegbi said Netanyahu did not say Iran had violated the agreement. “The Iranians are innocent in terms of the nuclear agreement because it is a gift given to them by an exhausted and naive world,” he said.
An Israeli official familiar with Netanyahu’s enticing style said on television that the two-word title “Iran Lied”, which appeared next to the prime minister during the television show, was specifically tailored to Trump’s brief and powerful style of speech.