Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Thursday that Iran has a “secret” nuclear facility and warehouse in Tehran, but offered no proof of the claim or details.
Netanyahu, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly said that he had shared this information with the International Atomic Energy Agency and intelligence agencies.
“What I’m about to say has not been shared before. Today, I am disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran,” Netanyahu said. “A secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and ammunition and material from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.”
The Israeli leader showed the General Assembly what looks like satellite imagery of the alleged warehouse and archive sites, and then presented the UN with another visual which showed Google Map coordinates for what he said is the secret warehouse.
Netanyahu’s announcement comes a few months after Israel announced that it had stolen a trove of nuclear-related files and documents from a dilapidated Iranian warehouse. Making the announcement May 1, Netanyahu claimed that it showed Tehran had been lying about its nuclear ambitions when it engaged in negotiations over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
On Thursday Netanyahu said he was revealing the existence of a second and previously unknown warehouse.
“In May, we exposed the site of Iran’s secret atomic archive – it’s right here,” he said pointing to poster, “in the Shorabad district of Tehran. Today, I’m revealing the sites of a second facility – Iran’s secret atomic warehouse … a in the Tuquzabad district of Tehran, just three miles away.”
In the lead up to the annual diplomatic gathering, Israeli and US officials said they would be laser focused on Iran and its regional activities.
An Israeli official told CNN just before UN week that “priority number one, two and three are Iran. The focus is going to be how we can work together, focus on the change of policy and how we can work together against Iran.”
Trump administration officials in New York used various venues to condemn Iran and rally other countries to join in an effort to pressure the country into changing its behavior.
President Donald Trump called out Iran in his remarks to the General Assembly on Tuesday and on Wednesday warned that countries that did not comply with new sanctions against Tehran would face consequences. National security adviser John Bolton issued a stark warning to Iran Tuesday, demanding changes in Tehran’s behavior and threatening “hell to pay” if they don’t happen.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a report that the State Department said detailed Iran’s malign behavior. Other US officials briefed reporters on Iran and its activities. The message was clear and unified: Iran must change or deal with the US, and the world should join Washington in this endeavor.
Netanyahu’s government vigorously opposed nuclear the deal, which Trump pulled out of in May, even as other signatories – the UK, France, Germany, the EU, Russia, Iran and China – have stuck with the pact.
CNN has requested additional information about Netanyahu’s claims from the Israeli embassy in Washington, as well as from diplomatic missions of all the nations who remain signatories to the Iran nuclear deal.