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CNN'S AMANPOUR

Iran nuclear deal hangs in the balance; Israel's Netanyahu addresses Iran Deal after Trump call. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired April 30, 2018 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST, AMANPOUR: Tonight, it took a decade of delicate diplomacy, but the Iran nuclear agreement now faces its toughest

challenge yet on growing speculation President Trump will walk away and Israel says it has dramatic news about the deal.

I'm joined by the renowned Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman in Tel Aviv. He is more plugged in than anyone to the Israeli military. And here in

London, Sir Peter John Westmacott, who is Britain's ambassador to Washington when the agreement was signed.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

President Trump has constantly railed against the Iran Nuclear Deal calling it insane, a disaster and threatening to pull the US out and reimpose US

sanctions. But it's only now that Trump's new secretary of state is in place and the self-imposed decision deadline is looming that the

administration is sending out clearer and consistent signals against staying in the deal. Here is Mike Pompeo in Israel this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, US SECRETARY OF STATE: President Trump's been pretty clear. This deal is very flawed. He's directed the administration to try and fix

it. And if we can't fix it, he's going to withdraw from the deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: And this evening in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gets another chance to layout his case against it. Trump meantime is

drumming up the suspense alongside French President Macron, who is trying to save the deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a chance, and nobody knows what I'm going to do on the 12th, although, Mr. President, you have

a pretty good idea. But we'll see, but we'll see. Also, if I do what some people expect, whether or not it will be possible to do a new deal with

solid foundations because this is a deal with decayed foundations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: So, that of course was during Macron's state visit to the White House last week. Today, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the United

States is already in breach of the deal for its constant negative comments about it.

With all the heated rhetoric over this deal, it's important to remind ourselves what it actually contains. As Britain's ambassador to the United

States at the time the pact was negotiated, Sir Peter John Westmacott held meetings in Congress to promote this deal and he's joining me now on set.

And from Israel, Ronen Bergman. He' s an investigative journalist and military analyst and one of Israel's most influential reporter. His latest

book, "Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations".

So, let me get to both of you first. Let me ask you, Sir Peter Westmacott, what is in this deal that is worth keeping and what does Trump hate?

PETER WESTMACOTT, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE US: What he hates about it is that it is a flagship achievement of the Obama administration.

What is in it that's worth keeping are a number of provisions which stop the plutonium route to creating a nuclear weapon, which limit Iran's

enrichment, which export the enriched uranium they already had and which puts very firm constraints on any further enrichment that Iran can carry

out.

And there is an unprecedented range of inspections on Iranian activity, which mean that, after the end of the existing provisions, which say no

enrichment and so on that any further nuclear activity by Iran is going to be carefully scrutinized by the IAEA.

I would say that is a deal worth keeping even if it does not explicitly guarantee that there will be no enrichment forever in Iran. But it's

pretty good in terms of what it gives us and it's the least bad way of stopping Iran getting nuclear weapons.

AMANPOUR: So, let me put it to Ronen Bergman then. You're sitting there in Tel Aviv, Ronen, and we don't know what the Prime Minister Netanyahu is

going to say about this, but presumably, as I said, lay out his case, again, against this deal.

But in the meantime, 26 senior Israeli commanders have written a letter in favor of staying in the deal. And, in short, they're basically saying that

the current deal is better than no deal. What is your understanding of the military and security complex in Israel, their view of this deal and what

Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to say to shore up his consistent position?

RONEN BERGMAN, ISRAELI INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Yes. First, most of the military and intelligence apparatus in Israel, if not all of it, objected.

They think that it's a bad deal.

But once signed, they thought that the Israeli administration should not continue its fight with the Obama administration and try to go along with

that while trying to have as much monitoring as possible.

[13:05:08] Now, Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to try and support the Trump decision, whatever that is, and presumably is going to be to step

away from the deal with disclosing and publishing a lot of - many, many thousands of documents that allegedly the Israeli intelligence have stolen

or got from Iran, proving that the JCPOA, the Iran deal, was based on fraud.

He is going to claim very soon in a huge press conference in Jerusalem that the deal is based on Iranian disinformation, that the whole Iranian denial

that Iran has ever had a secret nuclear military path to its project was false, that indeed Iran, at least until 2003, if not more, was very

advanced towards - in a research, R&D experiment and others towards an A- bomb and he's going to present some of the many thousands of documents that Israeli intelligence recently retrieved.

AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you both to drill down on this. And as I do, I'm going to read to you the tweet that's just come out from the Iranian

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who was obviously the main negotiator along with Secretary of State John Kerry.

He is saying, about Benjamin Netanyahu, "The boy who can't stop crying wolf is at it again. Undeterred by cartoon fiasco at UNGA, the UN General

Assembly, you can only fool some of the people so many times".

So, Ronen and Peter Westmacott, Benjamin Netanyahu has been saying this for a very long time that the world has been fooled, that Iran must have had a

clearer path to a nuclear weapon than it admitted.

So, from your perspective, Peter Westcott, and the Europeans and the Russians and the Chinese and the US, which all signed on to this, does that

sound credible? And if it is credible, is it smart to pull out of the deal now when there are constraints around it?

WESTMACOTT: On the first point, I recall just listening to you, Christiane, that there was an American official military intelligence

document a few years back, which said that we believe that up until 2003 the Iranians were pursuing a military nuclear program, but perhaps not

afterwards. It wasn't quite clear.

So, if Israeli prime minister was going to produce evidence suggesting that that what was going on up until 2003, that may not be anything

spectacularly new and different.

Second thing, I would say, is that we certainly found that after the Europeans and the United States back in 2004, 2005 turned down a deal with

Iran because it was going to allow a little bit of enrichment, discovered a decade later that they had been able to go ahead with huge amounts of

enrichment despite the sanctions.

So, we know that there was a nuclear program of very considerable significance, which may or may not have been military in its application

right up until the JCPOA was signed.

It was precisely because we thought that they were very close to breakout that the JCPOA was such a landmark achievement. So, yes, people knew that

the Iranians were up to no good. Whether it was military or not after 2003, I don't know. It will be interesting to see what the Israeli prime

minister produces in terms of evidence.

AMANPOUR: All right. While we await that, Ronen Bergman, I would like to play you just a little bit about what President Macron of France told

Congress about the situation when he was in the United States last week.

Because, of course, one of the main issues is that the United States is saying this deal doesn't go far enough. It should be about missiles. It

should be about terrorism. It should be about Syria, Hezbollah, all the rest of it. This is what Macron said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: It is true to say this agreement may not address all concerns and very important concerns, this is true. But we

should not abandon it without having something.

(END VIDEO CLIP) AMANPOUR: And as President Macron was speaking, we also now have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Israel's ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv

with what his office calls a significant development. Let us go straight to that.

Well, it looks like potentially there may be some technical issues with Prime Minister Netanyahu's microphone, but as we wait for that to get

underway, simply to ask - let me see if he is going to speak any minute now.

[13:10:06] BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINSTER (through translator): Tonight, we will present the world never before exposed information and its

intelligence achievements, one of the biggest Israel has ever known.

I would like the international community will hear what I have to say and understand it. And I will talk in English and afterwards in Hebrew.

NETANYAHU: Tonight, we're going to show you something that the world has never seen before. Tonight, we are going to reveal new and conclusive

proof of the secret nuclear weapons program that Iran has been hiding for years from the international community in its secret atomic archive. We're

going to show you Iran's secret nuclear files.

You may well know that Iran's leaders repeatedly deny ever pursuing nuclear weapons. You can listen to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALI KHAMENEI, IRAN'S SUPREME LEADER: I stress that the Islamic Republic has never been after nuclear weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NETANYAHU: You can listen to Iran's president Hassan Rouhani.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran's security and

defense doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NETANYAHU: This is repeated by Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We didn't have any program to develop nuclear weapons. Anyway, we consider nuclear

weapons both irrational as well as immoral.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NETANYAHU: Well, tonight, I'm here to tell you one thing. Iran lied. Big time.

After signing the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran intensified its efforts to hide its secret nuclear files. In 2017, Iran moved its nuclear weapons

files to a highly secret location in Tehran.

This is the Shorabad District in southern Tehran. This is where they kept the atomic archives. Right here. Few Iranians knew where it was - very

few - and also a few Israelis.

Now, from the outside, this was an innocent looking compound. It looks like a dilapidated warehouse. But from the inside, it contained Iran's

secret atomic archives locked in massive files. Actually, they're a little bigger than this, OK?

A few weeks ago, in a great intelligence achievement, Israel obtained half a ton of the material inside these vaults. And here's what we got. Fifty-

five thousand pages. Another 55,000 files on 183 CDs.

Everything you're about to see is an exact copy of the original Iranian material.

You may want to know where are the originals? Well, I can say they're now in a very safe place.

Here's what the files included. 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. We will also share it with other countries

and we'll share it with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

So, let me tell you the history of this material. We've known for years that Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program called Project Amad. 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.

Here's what Project Amad's explicit goal was - creating nuclear weapons. This is an original Iranian presentation from these files, and here's the

mission statement: Design, produce and test five warheads, each with 10 kiloton TNT yield for integration on a missile.

[13:15:15] You don't need to read Farsi to see 10 kilotons here, TNT. This is the specific goal of Project Amad. That's like five Hiroshima bombs to

be put on ballistic missiles.

This is an original Iranian spreadsheet from the archives of Project Amad. Look at what it has here. Yellowcake production, centrifuge enrichment

process, warhead project, simulation project, and test.

And indeed, when we analyzed what's in these archives, we found that Project Amad had the all the five elements, the five key elements, of a

nuclear weapons program. I want to take them one by one.

The first element is designing nuclear weapons. This is an original Iranian illustration of a weapon. Again, you don't have to read Farsi to

understand this. This is U235 - that's enriched uranium, right here at the core. That's the only place where you find, in the core, enriched uranium.

And here's an Iranian simulation, original Iranian simulation, putting all these components together. That's the first component.

Second component - developing nuclear cores. Here's a photo showing the casting process and a cast metal core from the archives. And here's a

secret underground facility the Iranians were building to produce nuclear cores. We have hundreds of documents for each of these components.

Third component - building nuclear implosion systems. This is an original Iranian photo of a measuring device for implosions. And here's a

simulation of a nuclear implosion.

Fourth element - preparing nuclear tests. Here's a map of five potential locations for a nuclear test in eastern Iran. One, two, three, four, five.

We have many, many more such documents.

And fifth - integrating nuclear weapons on missiles. Here's a design for a nuclear payload on a Shahab3 missile from the archive. Here's the warhead,

here's the bomb.

And I don't have to remind you, I think, that Iran is continually expanding the range of its ballistic missiles, its nuclear-capable missiles. They

started with 1,000 kilometers, they're now up to 2,000, roughly. They can reach Riyadh, Tel Aviv, Moscow, but they're working on far, far greater

ranges. They're planning much longer range missiles to carry nuclear weapons.

So, these files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program. The files prove that.

But here's what happened next. Iran was faced with mounting pressure in 2003. You remember that. That was following the Gulf War. So, it was

forced to shelve Project Amad.

But it didn't shelve its nuclear ambitions. So, Iran devised a plan to do two things. First, to preserve the nuclear know-how from Project Amad; and

second, to further develop its nuclear weapons related capabilities. That plan came directly from Iran's top leadership.

Here's another document from the archive. This is following the new directive of Iran's Minister of Defense, Mr. Shamkhani. Today, he's the

director of the National Security Council.

Following the new directive of Iran's Minister of Defense, the work would be split into two parts, covert and overt. A key part of the plan was to

form new organizations to continue the work. This is how Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of Project Amad, put it. Remember that name,

Fakhrizadeh. So, here's his directive, right here.

[13:20:00] And he says, "The general aim is to announce the closure of Project Amad," but then he adds, "Special activities" - you know what that

is - "Special activities will be carried out under the title of scientific know-how developments."

And in fact, this is exactly what Iran proceeded to do. It continued this work in a series of organizations over the years, and today, in 2018, this

work is carried out by SPND. That's an organization inside Iran's Defense Ministry.

And you will not be surprised to hear that SPND is led by the same person who led Project Amad, Dr. Fakhrizadeh, and also, not coincidentally, many

of SPND's key personnel worked under Fakhrizadeh on Project Amad.

So, this atomic archive clearly shows that Iran planned, at the highest levels, to continue work related to nuclear weapons under different guises

and using the same personnel.

I want to give you another example of Iran's nuclear weapons related activities that continued after Project Amad. You all remember the Fordow

Facility? Can you show that? The Fordow Uranium Enrichment Facility.

This was a secret underground enrichment facility that the Iranians built under a mountain. You don't put thousands of centrifuges under a mountain

to produce medical isotopes. You put them there for one reason - nuclear weapons, enrichment for nuclear weapons.

But the files show that Fordow was designed from the get-go for nuclear weapons as part of Project Amad. Here's an original Iranian blueprint of

Fordow. And what happened was that Iran continued to build Fordow years, secretly building, years after Project Amad ended.

Here's what it looks like. That's the entrance. It goes under a mountain. You also will not be surprised that Iran insisted on keeping Fordow. And

amazingly, the nuclear deal enabled it to do it. It enabled it to do it, but this came with a hitch.

Iran was required by the IAEA to come clean - by the nuclear deal to come clean to the International Atomic Energy Agency about its nuclear program.

This was an explicit condition for implementing the nuclear deal. Iran has to come clean.

So, in December 2015, the IAEA published its final assessment of what it called the military aspects of Iran's nuclear program. This is the report.

This was Iran's chance to fully come clean to the IAEA. They could tell the truth. They could say, we had this program, this secret program, it's

over, we shelved it, it doesn't exist, we destroyed the material.

Here's what Iran actually told the IAEA. It said, Iran denied the existence of a coordinated program aimed at the development of a nuclear

explosive device, and specifically denied - get this, specifically denied the existence of the Amad plan.

The material proves otherwise that Iran authorized, initiated and funded Project Amad, a coordinated program aimed at the development of a nuclear

explosive device.

Here's another document from the archive. This is the master plan of Project Amad. Iran said to the IAEA, no work has been conducted with

multi-point initiation. This is multi-point initiation. You've got to forgive me, this jargon, this scientific terminology is something that is

necessary to understand the production of nuclear weapons.

But here's what they say. No work has been conducted with MPI technology in hemispherical geometry. But, again, the archive shows that this is a

complete fabrication. Iran conducted extensive work with MPI technology in hemispherical geometry. Here's an example. Hundreds of more documents

prove it.

Iran said to the Agency that it had not conducted metallurgical work specifically designed for a nuclear device. But the files again show that

this is a lie. Iran conducted extensive metallurgical work specifically designed for a nuclear device. Here's an original Iranian photo. Plenty

more in the archive.

[13:25:07] So, what I've shown you tonight is just a fraction of the total material that we have. But even from this sample, you can draw four main

conclusions. First, Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program. One hundred thousand secret files prove that they lied.

Second, even after the deal, Iran continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons know-how for future use. Why would a terrorist regime hide

and meticulously catalogue its secret nuclear files, if not to use them at a later date?

Third, Iran lied again in 2015, when it didn't come clean to the IAEA, as required by the nuclear deal. And finally, the Iran deal, the nuclear

deal, is based on lies. It's based on Iranian lies and Iranian deception. One hundred thousand files right here prove that they lied.

So, here's the bottom line. Iran continues to lie. Just last week, Zarif said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZARIF: We never wanted to produce a bomb.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NETANYAHU: Again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZARIF: We never wanted to produce a bomb.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NETANYAHU: Yes, you did. Yes, you do. And the atomic archive proves it.

The nuclear deal gives Iran a clear path to an atomic arsenal. It does so because it gives them the three components that are necessary to produce

this arsenal.

First, unlimited enrichment in a few years. And they plan to do that. They plan to have several hundred thousand advanced centrifuges with which

they can enrich mountains of uranium for that core that I showed you before. For many, many such cores.

Second, it completely fails to address Iran's continued development of ballistic missiles.

And third, and this is new, it completely fails to address Iran's secret nuclear bomb program and its advanced work on weaponization. We just did.

So, this is a terrible deal. It should never have been concluded. And in a few days' time, President Trump will decide, will make his decision on

what to do with the nuclear deal.

I'm sure he'll do the right thing. The right thing for the United States, the right thing for Israel and the right thing for the peace of the world.

(through translator): - exposed one of the greatest intelligent achievement of Israel, we exposed secrets of the Iranian and nuclear plan.

And for the first time, it exposed more than 100 documents of the secretive Iranian regime, which shows the activities Iran made in order to achieve

nuclear weapon.

And they're proving that Iran lied in cold -

AMANPOUR: So, there's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talking again, this time in Hebrew about what he just said in English, laying out what he

says is Israel's now conclusive facts and evidence based on a secret trove of what they call the Iranian atomic archive that over a period of years

Iran had a nuclear weapons program or it was very much more advanced than they admitted and that Prime Minister Netanyahu says this is a clear reason

why this Iran nuclear deal does not prevent Iran's ambitions and, as we know, the Israeli prime minister doesn't like it.

So, I am going to bring back our guests, Ronen Bergman, the investigative journalist, military analyst and one of Israel's most influential

reporters, and Sir Peter Westmacott, Britain's former ambassador to the United States around the time that the Iran nuclear deal began to be

hammered out.

So, let me just go straight to you, Ronen, then. What do you make of that? So, what do you make of it?

BERGMAN: So, we need to put into perspective what Prime Minister Netanyahu has just revealed. There was a huge intelligence operation that took place

in the recent weeks, I think more than that, and brought to Israel the archive of the secret nuclear military project of Iran.

He does not claim - and this is something very important to emphasize, he does not claim that the Iran has violated the JCPOA since it was signed.

What he does claim is that the JCPOA is based on fraud, on Iranian bluff.

That all of what Iran has told the atomic - the IAU, the International Atomic Energy Committee and the world, and the West, and the P5+1 and

everybody that they negotiated, during the negotiation and afterwards in recent weeks he used that video clips to show that. That was based on lie,

the Iranians have A: had a very advance secret military project called Amad, that this was converted into so called, overt.

A project called Supran(ph) after 2003 but the goal of Supran(ph) was to preserve the knowledge of the secret military project for Iran to be as

close to the bomb as possible. I think this is a - this could be a major blow to supporters of the JCPOA, one of them is in your studio now.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: So, let me ask you Peter Westmacott, you just heard what Ronen said, he was very clear that Prime Minister Netanyahu

who did not produce evidence that Iran is currently or has violated the particular deal that was signed in 2015. And for what I was able to see,

this was about project Amad, it was between 1999 and 2003, so is this in the way it's being laid out, a death knell to the JCPOA?

PETER WESTMACOTT, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR: Well as I was saying, we did know that there was something that looked like a military program going on

until about 2003, the same date the Ben Netanyahu has now chosen. What I think this is, is a huge way of putting pressure on President Trump to walk

away from the JCPOA when he is making his decision on the 12th of May, the timing is obviously not coincidental.

Does this mean death now to the agreement? I think the key point is leaving aside whether Iran was telling the truth or not, and it sounds as

though they may not have been telling the full truth at the time when the JCPOA was concluded in 2015. The question is have they been in compliance

since then? Now Ronen is right, in saying that Prime Minister Netanyahu did not say Iran has not be in compliance for the legal.

But he did say they've been continuing with their nuclear activities since signing the deal that is pretty much in contravention of what the deal is.

So, I'm not quite sure what that really means. The key question is were they in compliance, and have been a dozen different inspections and reports

by the IAEA since the deal was signed saying that Iran is in compliance.

So, I think in assessing this stuff and none of us have seen it before, this is brand new, United States government may have seen it but other

people have not. What does it mean in terms of Iran's good faith in that deal was signed? Yes, but maybe this is about whether it told the whole

truth before hand, but the really important point is it acting in good faith or not since over the last two and half years.

AMANPOUR: So Ronan would you agree that, to follow on from what you said and what you pointed out, that since the deal has been signed Prime

Minister Netanyahu who did not show evidence of non compliance. So, in your opinion do you think that it's still better to have the deal to

restrain precisely what Prime Minister Netanyahu put out there or is it better to put out of the deal and then what would plan B be?

BERMAN: Well fortunately for me, I'm not the decision maker in Israel, but let me point to two things. I don't think that this was trying to exercise

pressure on President Trump, it is trying to support a decision of President Trump that I think was all ready taken.

This is not a coincidence that the de-simplification, the publication of this arcut(ph) is done in a very extraordinary and different way than

anything Israeli intelligence has done so far. Usually they use some foreign non Israeli to leak it, without attribution to the source. Now the

President - the Prime Minister of Israel is declassifying this, publishing this and also basically claiming not of breach but the fact that Iran has

the knowledge to be very close to a bomb. I don't think...

AMANPOUR: Ronen has does one kill knowledge Ronen?

RONEN...step aside...

AMANPOUR: How does one eradicate knowledge? That clearly is the question that you just raised.

RONEN: Right, well you know there are many sources who would say that Israeli killed Iranian scientist, the Masad killed two Iranian scientists

in order to kill knowledge. But let me say just this, Israeli as much as I hear from my sources in Israeli intelligence they don't think that even if

the U.S. declares that it is no longer a part of the JCPOA it would revert to the international sanction regime that was imposed on Iran before that.

So, the Israeli assessment that - it is important whatever Trump decides, but if he decides to step away from the deal it would not change things in

reality because Europe will continue, Russia will continue its support with Iran, China, and I don't think that we will revert back or see the same

situation.

We will have further examination of the evidence, so called evidence, that Prime Minister Netanyahu, I think my guess is that the IAEA will find them

authentic and collaborate that with other sources. They will find Iran at least as a lying country to the international community.

AMANPOUR: So lies, Peter Westmacott, we've just had a Tweet that we're going to read from Carl Bildt, who was both Prime Minister and Foreign

Minister of Sweden, around the time these negotiations were going on. And he says, nothing really new in Netanyahu who Iran speech(ph), confirms that

Iran closed down nuclear weapons program in 2003, continued technology efforts, in principle all of this well known.

No allegation that Iran cheats on 2015 nuclear deal. I mean clearly this dissection of what just happened is going to be very robust in the days and

weeks ahead of President Trump's decision.

RONEN: Clearly it will be. The knowledge is not going to be unlearned, we've all known that the Iranians had a lot of knowledge about the nuclear

program, how military it was in the last 10 years or not, we do not fully know. I think the real point is that because we know that Iran was not far

away from having the capability of making nuclear weapons, so there were no weaponize missiles or anything.

That is why the deal was worth having, it is an order to prevent Iran having nuclear weapons JCPOA were signed. If we walk away from it there is

a possibility that Iran will once again just a few months away from a threshold of having a nuclear military committee(ph).

That is why the deal is worth having and to walk away from it, it is absolutely right, but the sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table

in 2015 will no longer be in place because the Chinese and the Russians and other members of the international community will not be as ready to apply

those sanctions as they were in the past. Everybody was very clear about that.

AMANPOUR: Which is even more dangerous then, because it will leave Iran untrammeled.

RONEN: Which is even more dangerous, I won't say it leaves Iran untrammeled because America will still have its own sanctions which have an

extra territorial impact, which means that many other countries find it very hard to deal and to trade with Iran which is one of the reasons while

the Iranians steal the deal at the moment is not quite fair to them. So, I think it will have an impact but I would question whether the P5+1, as we

call the group, that signed this deal to two and half years ago, would be able to keep the deal in place without America's support.

AMANPOUR: And that (inaudible) opposes Ronen that Iran actually wants to stay in. All ready we've seen a lot of infighting in Iran between the

people that, you know, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about and showed the video clips, those are so called moderate who negotiated the

deal. But they're under huge pressure from the even bigger threats to your country, which are the revolutionary guard and all the others who want to

get out of the deal. So Ronen what is more dangerous for Israel do you think?

RONEN: Well it's clear that there's a huge campaign, as you said, in Iran to prove that people like Foreign Minister Zarif was wrong in negotiating

with the West, and if Trump decides to step away from the deal, they would be proven right. Let me just add something, another factor to this

equation, and this is Israeli concerned that the Iran's is going to retaliate very soon in Syria for Israel repeated bombing of its bases in

Syria.

I think that what Israel is trying to do now, is to put Iran in a tight spot in the international community and therefore I will say maybe less,

make Iranian less confident, or less secure, to start confrontation in Syria. Everything is connected to everything and the situation is just

getting more and more complex.

AMANPOUR: Can I just play something for you? Because I found this particularly interesting given John Bolton, the new national security

advisors, well before I do that, we're actually going to go to President Trump who's going to be speaking now at the White House. He's been meeting

with the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, let's listen in.

END