Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Iran of having a previously undisclosed site aimed at developing nuclear weapons that it destroyed. Iran destroyed the site located near the city of Abadeh, south of Isfahan, sometime between late June and late July after realising that Israel had detected it, Netanyahu alleged.
In an address on live television, with photos of the alleged site on a screen behind him, Netanyahu referred to an intelligence trove he had previously announced last year.
“Today we reveal that yet another secret nuclear site was exposed in the archives that we brought from Tehran,” Netanyahu said.
“In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons... When Iran realised that we uncovered the site, here’s what they did: They destroyed the site, they just wiped it out.”
Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.
Earlier, Netanyahu called for more international pressure on Iran Thursday after it ended limits to its nuclear research and development in its latest response to US sanctions. “This morning we were informed of another violation, more defiance, by Iran, this time in its striving to attain nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu had said.
“This is not the time to hold talks with Iran; this is the time to increase the pressure on Iran.”
Last year, US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of an international accord designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program and has reimposed sanctions on Iran in an effort to force it to renegotiate the agreement.
Tensions soared in the Gulf in June and July amid attacks on oil tankers, Iran’s downing of an unmanned US surveillance drone and after the US said it had downed an Iranian drone. Trump has said the attack against the US drone prompted him to order a military strike in response, only to call it off at the last minute.