Israel obtained an “extremely impressive” stash of intelligence about Iranian nuclear activity that needs to be investigated further by the International Atomic Energy Agency, President Trump’s top national security aide said after international monitors rejected the idea.
“We've been very supportive of the Israeli effort and supportive of the IAEA taking new steps to follow up on it,” White House national security adviser John Bolton told reporters during a Wednesday briefing.
“Our intelligence community has been reviewing the material that Israel extracted from Iran and going over it in quite some detail,” Bolton saic. “I must say it's extremely impressive.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled what he called a “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran, an illicit home to “as much as 300 tons of nuclear related equipment and material.” Netanyahu called on international monitors to inspect the site, in an apparent effort to force European leaders to conclude that Iran is not complying with the 2015 nuclear agreement. But the International Atomic Energy Agency turned down that idea.
"The Agency uses all safeguards relevant information available to it, but it does not take any information at face value,” IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said Tuesday. “The Agency continues to evaluate Iran’s declarations under the Additional Protocol, and has conducted complementary accesses under the Additional Protocol to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit.”
Amano implied that an inspection of the site would undermine the agency’s “independence in relation to the implementation of verification activities.”
Netanyahu offered evidence of the facility to buttress a rebuke of European nations that hope to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, in defiance of President Trump’s decision to exit the pact and renew economic sanctions on the regime.
“Europe and others are appeasing Iran by trying to help it bypass those new sanctions,” he said at the United Nations General Assembly. “Think about this: The same week Iran was caught red-handed trying to murder European citizens, European leaders were rolling out the red carpet for President Rouhani, promising to give Iran even more money.”
Proponents of the deal often cite the IAEA’s assessment that Iran is in technical compliance with the agreement, which they credit with defusing a nuclear crisis in the Middle East. Netanyahu and other Iran hawks counter that the IAEA has declined to attempt to visit the most controversial sites.