Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of lying about its nuclear program in a highly billed speech Monday, revealing information he said showed the Islamic Republic continued to pursue nuclear weapons even after signing the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Speaking in English at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu displayed slides from documents he said Israel recently obtained from a top secret facility in Tehran detailing Iran’s long-held nuclear ambitions.
“You may well know that Iran’s leaders repeatedly deny ever pursuing nuclear weapons,” he said, before playing clips of Iran’s supreme leader, president and foreign minister denying the country ever sought such capabilities weapons.
“Iran lied. Big time,” said Netanyahu, adding that the trove included a half-ton of material.
The cache, he said, contained “incriminating documents, incriminating charts, incriminating presentations, incriminating blueprints, incriminating photos, incriminating videos and more.
“We’ve shared this material with the United States and the United States can vouch for its authenticity,” he said of the information.
Netanyahu went onto detail the so-called Project Amad, which beginning in the early 1990s put Iran on a path to “design, produce and test… five warheads, each with a 10 kiloton TNT yield, for integration on a missile.”
“That is like five Hiroshima bombs to be put on ballistic missiles,” he said of the plan.
Netanyahu said Project Amad included five key elements — designing nuclear weapons, developing nuclear cores, building nuclear implosion systems, preparing nuclear tests and integrating nuclear warheads on missiles.
“These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program. The files prove that,” he said.
Amid growing pressure, Iran decided to shut down Project Amad in 2003, Netanyahu said, instead splitting their nuclear program into covert and overt tracks in order to avoid scrutiny.
“This is exactly what Iran continued to do,” said Netanyahu. “Iran planned at the highest levels to continue work related to nuclear weapons under different guises and using the same personnel.
Read More: Times of Israel