International

Iran dismisses Israel PM’s atomic claims

Iran dismisses Israel  PM’s atomic claims
Netanyahu told Iran, Israel was watching its every move.
London, Sep 28 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 9/28/2018 12:22:25 PM IST

Iran has ridiculed claims by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it is hiding a warehouse used to store prohibited nuclear technology.

Mr Netanyahu made what he called the revelation at the UN, producing a picture of the alleged secret site.

However, Iran’s foreign minister dismissed the claim as an “arts and craft show” designed to conceal Israel’s own nuclear programme.

Israel says Iran is seeking atomic weapons, a charge Iran denies.

The prime minister made Iran’s nuclear activities the cornerstone of his speech at the annual UN General Assembly debate.

He criticised the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for failing to question Iran about tons of material Israel secretly obtained earlier this year from a warehouse in Tehran. Israel it said proved Iran was lying about its nuclear intentions.

Mr Netanyahu said the IAEA’s inactivity compelled him to publicly reveal the existence of another secret warehouse in Tehran, also used, he said, to store “massive amounts of equipment and material” related to nuclear weapons technology.

Iran has consistently denied pursuing nuclear weapons and as a signatory of the 1970 Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agreed not to seek to develop or acquire such technology.

Producing an enlarged photograph of the exterior of a gated building, Mr Netanyahu said it was a “secret atomic warehouse”, not far from the facility Israel publicised in April.

He said the newly-revealed site contained as much as 300 tons of nuclear-related equipment and material. Iran, he said, had been removing radioactive material from there since Israel’s earlier disclosure, and distributing it across Tehran. Mr Netanyahu said Iran “planned to use both of these sites in a few years when the time would be right to break out to the atom bomb”.

He called on the IAEA to inspect the alleged atomic warehouse immediately.

Addressing Iran’s leaders directly, Mr Netanyahu said: “Israel knows what you’re doing, and Israel knows where you’re doing it.”

“Israel will never let a regime that calls for our destruction to develop nuclear weapons,” he added.

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