As expected, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed intel today that he claims conclusively proves that Iran has hidden a nuclear-weapons program despite their deal with Barack Obama and the P5+1. Israeli intelligence got 55,000 pages of documents, images, and videos on almost 183 CDs indicating that Project Amad has continued to operate out of a secret location in Tehran, Netanyahu claimed. The regime wants five Hiroshima-level weapons to fit onto missiles and, well … you can imagine where those would be heading.
Netanyahu set up his presentation by reminding everyone about Iran’s disclaimers about pursuing nuclear weapons:
"We've shared this material with the United States and the United States can vouch for the authenticity," Netanyahu says of Iran's files recovered by Israeli intelligence. https://t.co/FUU9NJgS1g pic.twitter.com/rrfPro3lZS
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 30, 2018
“We’ve known for years that Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program called Project Amad,” he continued. We can now prove that Project Amad was a comprehensive program to design, build, and test nuclear weapons. We can also prove that Iran is secretly storing Project Amad material to use at a time of its choice to develop nuclear weapons.”
Netanyahu revealed that the purpose of Project Amad was to design, produce, and test five nuclear warheads, each with an explosive yield of 10 kilotons of TNT, for integration with ballistic missiles. “That’s like 5 Hiroshima bombs to be put on ballistic missiles.”
He further revealed that Project Amad had all five elements of a nuclear weapons program, designing nuclear weapons, developing nuclear cores, building nuclear implosion systems, preparing nuclear tests, and integrating nuclear weapons with missiles.
Much of this comes from earlier in the Iranian program, but it indicates that the Iranians split the program into “covert and overt [dual-use]” phases. They used the latter as cover, arguing that their nuclear program was for peaceful use only. The “covert” operations continued, in large part at their facility in Fordow. The nuclear deal allowed them to keep operating Fordow, Netanyahu points out, but only if they revealed the entirety of their nuclear weapons program. Instead, the Iranians lied to the IAEA about the existence of Project Amad in particular and more generally about the purpose of the Fordow facility. Instead, they moved their resources to another secret facility, presumably to be able to start up where they left off.
Netanyahu offers four conclusions from the sample he revealed in his presentation:
- Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program
- After the deal, Iran preserved their research and have expanded it
- Iran lied to the IAEA and violated the terms of the nuclear deal
- The nuclear deal is based on lies.
Here’s a conclusion that Netanyahu is too diplomatic to state out loud: The people who signed onto this deal are saps. It also points out the fecklessness in leaving the ballistic missile program outside of the original deal.
So what happens now? Netanyahu says that Donald Trump will “do the right thing,” which is to repudiate the deal. Prior to this presentation, our European partners had striven mightily to prevent that, but Netanyahu may have cut the ground out from underneath them. What’s the point of staying in a deal that Iran is violating, other than the fact that Obama and John Kerry gave them back all their frozen assets up front? With this, perhaps even the Europeans will start second-guessing their defenses of Tehran.