Israeli leaders claimed on Monday that Iran has secretly built a nuclear weapons site, sparking further concerns about the Islamic nation’s nuclear capabilities.
Elad Strohmayer, an Israeli embassy spokesman, wrote in a series of tweets coupled with aerial photos of what he claims are nuclear facilities, as The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday.
“Israel has exposed another Iranian violation of their international commitments: the Abadeh Nuclear Weapons Development Site,” Strohmayer wrote on Twitter. “We have proof that #Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons there, and that they destroyed the site when they realized we discovered it.”
In response, Strohmayer released a statement in a follow-up tweet from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Israel knows what you’re doing, when you’re doing it and where you’re doing it. We will continue to expose your lies.”
“I call on the international community to join President Trump’s sanctions to exert more pressure on Iran,” Netanyahu’s statement continued. “The only way to stop Iran’s march to the bomb and its aggression in the region is pressure, pressure and more pressure,”
This latest development comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Iranians and Israelis, as de-nuclearization peace talks have stalled.
Cornel Feruta, the acting head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the chief of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, recently met with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Monday.
Feruta met to emphasize the need for Iran’s “full and timely cooperation” with UN nuclear agreements and the UN nuclear agency said its inspectors were ready to check Iran’s compliance.
“Agency inspectors are on the ground in Iran and they will report any relevant activities to IAEA headquarters in Vienna,” said spokesman Fredrik Dahl.
Last month, Reuters reported Iran also threatened to block passage in the Strait of Hormuz and reduce compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal.
“With the continuation of the inaction of the Europeans in carrying out their commitments (to the nuclear deal) … Iran will take a third step (in reducing commitments) in approximately one month,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
The 2015 deal was designed to let Iran sell its oil in exchange for curbing its uranium enrichment program, which the nation has since threatened to ramp up.
Iran has also stated that it has increased its stockpile of heavy water, which is used at its nuclear reactor in Arak, above the agreements limit of 130 tonnes. Moreover, the nation said it increased its reserve of enriched uranium above 300 kilograms, which is also above the cap established in the 2015 deal.
“What is certain is that by putting aside or suspending our commitments we will increase the speed of our nuclear activities,” Kamalvandi warned.
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