Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel had uncovered another secret site where Iran was developing nuclear weapons, which was destroyed once Tehran realized it had been spotted.
It was the first time that Netanyahu had identified the site, which, he said, was discovered in a trove of Iranian documents Israel previously obtained and released publicly last year.
“A year and a half ago, we exposed Iran’s secret nuclear archive which revealed that Iran was developing five nuclear warheads as early as 2003. Last year, we exposed Iran’s secret nuclear warehouse in Turquzabad which Iran used for storing materials and equipment for its secret nuclear program,” Netanyahu told reporters Monday evening at the Foreign Ministry in Yerushalayim.
“Even before that, Iran knew that we were on to them so they cleared the site,” he said. “This is an actual cover-up. They put gravel on it to try and hide their traces. But they didn’t. The IAEA found traces of uranium that Iran hid in these sites. That’s a direct violation of the NPT, the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“Today, we reveal that yet another secret nuclear site was exposed in the archives that we brought from Tehran. In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons. This is the site near Abadeh, south of Isfahan,” he said.
Netanyahu displayed a satellite photo of the facility taken in June, followed by a second photo of what he said was the site being destroyed in July.
“When Iran realized that we uncovered the site here’s what they did: they destroyed the site. They just wiped it out. They wiped out the site. Here they conducted nuclear experiments for nuclear weapons. This is the site after they understood that we were on to them. They destroyed the evidence or at least tried to destroy the evidence,” the prime minister said.
Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the international nuclear deal with Iran, maintains Tehran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon — a charge Iran denies.
“This is what I have to say to the tyrants of Tehran: Israel knows what you’re doing, Israel knows when you’re doing it and Israel knows where you’re doing it. We will continue to expose your lies. What we see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception and violations,” Netanyahu said.
The prime minister urged world leaders to act on Iranian lies by putting more economic pressure on Tehran.
“I call on the international community to wake up, to realize that Iran is systematically lying, and I call on the international community to join President Trump’s sanctions to exert more pressure on Iran. The only way to stop Iran’s march to the bomb, and its aggression in the region, is pressure, pressure and more pressure,” he said.
Netanyahu’s comments came on the heels of revelations that the UN’s atomic watchdog, the IAEA, found traces of uranium at a different site that Iran had yet to explain.