Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday accused Iran of submitting internal reports by the UN nuclear watchdog under a plan to devise ways to stop the investigation of its nuclear program.
Neither Tehran nor the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) responded immediately to requests for comment, which appeared to be part of an Israeli campaign to dissuade major powers from renewing a 2015 Iranian nuclear deal in now-concluded Vienna negotiations.
“Iran stole classified classification (IAEA) documents … and used that information to systematically escape nuclear probes,” Bennett said in a social media post that included a selection of the alleged sets of files, some of which were translated into English.
“How do we know? Because we got our hands on Iran’s fraud plan.”
A Bennett aide said the latest allegation referred to the publication by Israeli spies in 2018 of what they said was a secret trove of documents seized in Iran and related to their nuclear projects. Tehran called that so-called “Atomic Archive” a fabrication.
Bennett quoted an Iranian defense official as writing in the alleged documents that “woman or later they (IAEA) will ask us, and we will have to have a comprehensive coverage story for them”.
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful. Israel, Washington and the IAEA have long made it clear that they believe Iran had a coordinated nuclear weapons program until 2003.
The IAEA has spent more than a decade investigating Iran’s past activities, and is now seeking answers from Iran on the origin of uranium particles found at three unexplained sites.
Separately, the United States and five other powers have pursued talks with Iran over the renewal of the 2015 agreement that former US President Donald Trump left, and did not consider it sufficient.
Israel is not a party to those negotiations, but has some power over foreign powers. “We say this is not a good deal, and there will be no disaster if it is not signed,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told Tel Aviv Radio 103.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)