With great fanfare, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed to the world on Monday a trove of documents obtained by Israel about the history of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He used a presentation at the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv to make the case to the public and to U.S. President Donald Trump for walking away from the Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). But what Netanyahu unintentionally did was demonstrate why the JCPOA is so important and can be an effective tool for preventing Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
Netanyahu’s bottom line was that going back years, Iran lied about its nuclear program and secretly pursued weaponization research that would allow it to convert its supposedly peaceful civil nuclear program into a weapons program. But that was already well known. Iran built secret nuclear enrichment facilities in Natanz and Fordow that were outed to the world by Western intelligence agencies. And the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had evidence that Iran had been researching how to convert the fissile material from these enrichment facilities into a nuclear bomb.
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