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Secretary of Defense James Mattis would not say Monday whether Iran was in compliance with the Nuclear Agreement, citing the ongoing decision making process by President Trump.
He did say that the deal “certainly needs to be fixed.”
“I don’t want to get into details,” he said when asked about it again.
Mattis also said he did not watch Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presentation on Iran’s nuclear program.
Asked if the Israeli minister of defense presented any evidence on Iran’s non-compliance during their meeting at the Pentagon last week, Mattis said, "the Israeli minister of defense and I discussed a host of issues. That was not one of them."
President Trump signaled that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's news conference about Iran's nuclear program has helped prove that he has been right about his criticism of the Iranian nuclear deal.
"I think if anything what’s happening today and what’s happened over the last little while … has really shown that I’m 100% right" about the deal, Trump said.
Trump again criticized the Iran deal, saying that its sunset provision would allow Iran to quickly move to create a nuclear weapon.
Moments after Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu alleged that Iran "lied" about nuclear weapons, President Trump said in a press conference that the US will make a decision about the deal "on or before" May 12.
"In seven years, that deal will have expired and Iran is free to go ahead and create nuclear weapons. That is not acceptable. Seven years is tomorrow, that’s not acceptable. If anything, what Israel has done today in the news conference was right."
As for the fate of the deal, Trump said, "we'll see what happens," leaving open the possibility of negotiating a new deal.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran deal) gives Iran a clear path to an atomic arsenal.
Netanyahu said his claim was based on three points:
- Unlimited enrichment of uranium allowed within a few years by the deal
- Iran’s continued development of ballistic missiles
- The JCPOA’s failure to address Iran’s secret nuclear bomb program and advanced work on weaponization
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the Iran nuclear deal, saying it was based on lies.
He said Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program. He added that Iran continued to expand it program.
Netanyahu said Iran lied again in 2015 when it didn't come clean to the International Atomic Energy Agency, as required by the deal.
Netanyahu said Israel has 100,000 "secret files that prove" that Iran lied.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with his tweet on Monday, saying “BREAKING: The boy who can’t stop crying wolf is at it again. Undeterred by cartoon fiasco at UNGA.”
Zarif wrote: “You can only fool some of the people so many times.” He also copied the photo of the graphic of a bomb that Netanyahu showed during his speech at United Nations General Assembly from 2012.
During the 2012 United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a graphic of a bomb to show the progress Iran had made during his speech. He said it had already completed the first stage of uranium enrichment and called for global action against Iran’s nuclear program.
The tweet was posted before Netanyahu’s live television address from the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on Monday, during which he accused Iran of having a comprehensive nuclear weapons program.
After presenting what he called evidence of Iran's lies about its nuclear weapons program, Israel Prime Minister said he is sure President Trump "will do the right thing" over the next few days when it comes to the nuclear deal.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "we've known for years that Iran has had a secret nuclear weapons program."
Netanyahu then presented slides of what he called Iran's "secret nuclear files."
He showed maps, illustrations and animations that Netanyahu says is proof of the nuclear weapons program.