Iran Reacts to Netanyahu's Allegations

Iranian officials have dismissed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegations about Tehran’s controversial nuclear program. “The boy who can’t stop crying wolf is at it again,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. Netanyahu presented what he considered incontrovertible evidence proving that Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program. He also claimed that Tehran continued to “expand its nuclear weapons knowhow for future use,” despite the 2015 nuclear deal. The following are reactions from Iranian officials.


Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif


Click here for a transcript of Zarif's video message. 



Senior Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati 

"If the United States withdraws from the nuclear deal, then we will not stay in it." 

― May 3, 2018, speaking to the media, according to The Guardian 

“In fact, the [main] reason behind using these words is that the Zionist regime has lost its hope for survival [and] those who support the Zionist regime in the region have tried to distance themselves from these words due to their obscene nature."

“Among enemies of the Islamic Ummah and the resistance front, the Zionist regime’s prime minister is the least worthy of all."

― May 1, 2018, speaking to the media, according to PressTV


Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi

“Well I think Israel is doing a very childish game, I suppose. The show that was given by Mr. Netanyahu was another attempt by him to present something which is absolutely wrong and verified by the agency [IAEA] some years back and actually confirmed by the agency in 2015 that all allegations against Iran and all allegations who said that Iran was building a nuclear weapon is false. And the file which was known as PMD, Possible Military Dimension, of Iran’s nuclear program was already closed by the Board of Governors of the IAEA. He had this show sometimes back when in the [U.N.] General Assembly when he presented a cartoon of a nuclear bomb possibility and accused Iran. And that was actually again proved something ridiculous and attracted no attention by any political circle in the international community. It was also proved wrong. I think it is again, another childish and naïve show of documents or indications which actually has no base.

The interesting point is, he is doing this only let’s say 10 days before President Trump makes his decision about the JCPOA and it is obvious that he is trying to affect President Trump’s decision. And how come only 10 days before the decision by President Trump he was able to access 55,000 pages of classified documents of Iran’s nuclear program? It’s obvious that it is just a game, and a very childish game in order to affect President Trump’s decision and make sure he walks away from the deal, from the JCPOA. We don’t care about these allegations. It’s abusive. It’s not even worth answering. We are in close contact with our partners in the JCPOA, and in the coming days as President Trump is going to make his decision we are preparing ourselves for any scenario and any decision that he makes.”

“Well I think, as I said, it was a well-orchestrated scenario played by Netanyahu and Trump to make sure that Trump could have an excuse to walk away from the deal. Because at the moment he has no excuse. Iran’s compliance to the deal is confirmed again and again by the IAEA. So there is no justification if President Trump decides to go out of the deal. He cannot accuse Iran of anything. Mr. Netanyahu is trying to find a pretext for him to make the decision he wants to make and give him excuses, but I think he has failed. And nobody in the world would believe what has been proved wrong by the agency.”

“[Netanyahu] said that he is going to present documents that Iran has violated JCPOA, now and is continuing its nuclear program in its military aspects, but he failed to present any valuable or credible document. He just referred everybody to 2003 or the years that there were some allegations and accusations and all of them were proved wrong by the agency. So there was nothing new in his presentation. Even no new allegation. All allegations that he made had already been made long ago and been proved wrong by the agency.”

― April 30, 2018, speaking to PressTV


Iranian Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht

“The ... president of the United States is ready to leave the JCPOA from May 12 and he will most likely do so." 

― May 3, 2018, at a ceremony in northern Anzali, according to Tasnim News Agency

"We have to wait for different conditions in the country."

"We have paved the way and prepared necessary budget for that era."

― May 3, 2018, at a ceremony in northern Anzali, according to Fars News Agency


Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi

“The Zionist leaders see the survival of their illegitimate regime, which is based on lies, in portraying others as threats through using shabby charlatanism in the era of ignorance of the world’s public opinion.”

May 1, 2018, in a statement, according to Tasnim News Agency


Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami

"The Zionist regime and its prime minister have distanced themselves from rationality. If the Islamic Republic decides to resort to strategies other than those relating to its self-restraint, the regime would face surprising and regrettable consequences.”

“I warn the occupying regime of the al-Quds (Jerusalem) and its supporters to stop conspiracies, plots, and dangerous behaviors."

May 1, 2018, in a speech in Tehran, according to Tasnim News Agency 

"The timing of this show by a person who has a record of such acts, proves that in addition to the general goals of this regime in pursuing hostility towards the Iranian nation, it also pursues other specific goals, which include following suit with [US President Donald] Trump's hostile scenario against the Iranian nation." 

May 1, 2018, in a speech in Tehran, according to PressTV


Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad 

“Of course, we are pursuing the development with care and interest and seriousness. This is a very hectic time for the JCPOA, which is the result of intensive negotiations between Iran and great powers. So, we are waiting to see what would be the decision of the United States on the deal.”

“Of course, they are negative signals on the ground, but we would like to be very realistic and see the final decision of the United States. But the signals are not very constructive. We see signals which are negative on a daily basis, but we want to give the sufficient time to the United States to keep its proper decision.”

“I cannot say some hope, of course hope should be always there. Humanity without hope is nothing. But we want to be prepared for different scenarios. We are prepared for realistic scenarios on the ground and we want to wait to give the time to the U.S. to finally deicide.”

“As you said, there could be some different scenarios on the ground. The first scenario is resorting to the mechanism devised in the JCPOA, which is a mechanism to resolve differences, which is included in paragraph 36.”

“I’m not saying we would do that [first], I’m saying this is a possibility. So, it depends on the decision of the United States if that possibility could come true or not. But this is a possibility.

Another possibility for us, is that in reaction to the United States, we would also withdraw from the deal. That is something very real and, in fact, very realistic. So, this is something that we are planning. And our president has also instructed the different organizations and authorities in Tehran to prepare for such eventualities.”

“When the United States is out of the deal, it means that there is no deal left, because an important party has abrogated and violated in clear terms the treaty. In fact, the situation, as designed in the deal. So it’s a completely new situation, so there could be a very clear interpretation that there is no deal left, that Iran would be staying in the deal. So the consequence would be that Iran would be ready to go back to the previous situation.”

“It could be enriching uranium. It could be redefining our cooperation with the agency. And some other activities that are under consideration.”

“At least here, I can agree with President Trump, that Iran would not start a nuclear weapon program, because we have never had such program in Iran. So we have clearly committed ourselves, being in the NPT first, and then in numerous occasions, as a policy of the country, since we have also a fatwa from our leadership that nuclear weapons is something forbidden for us, legally and religiously. So we would not back to… or we would not be in a situation to be engaged in any matter in a nuclear weapons programs. But we would be back to the situation in our nuclear industry in terms of enrichment, in terms of other capacities that are quite legitimate under the NPT and IAEA statute.”

“We started negotiations to be a win-win solution to all parties to the deal. And we are, in fact, very disappointed to see that one party tries to abrogate the deal, violate the deal, and be out of the deal. But we are very confident that we had the intention to embark on the confidence building process and normalize our nuclear industry and, in the meantime,, let the international community be less concerned and not concerned about our nuclear program. But when that the situation that they don’t want to see this confidence building enforced, the reality is that we have the full support of our nation to respond very effectively, in fact, to the decision of the United States to withdraw from the deal if that would be the decision.”

“This is not the first time that we hear such statements when we wanted to start negotiations on the JCPOA, exactly this was the view by some that let’s negotiate on everything. On Iran nuclear program, on terrorism, on human rights, on regional issues. But, in fact, we were convinced that we cannot in fact find a solution for all of these issues. We were instructed by our high authorities to concentrate on the Iran nuclear issue and we believed with a good deal we could find a solution. And we found that solution. So this is not a new thing for us.”

“The modalities that are suggested are totally unacceptable to us because there is some kind of conditionality that if we want to continue the implementation of the JCPOA there should be agreement on other elements, which is totally unacceptable. JCPOA was negotiated on its own merits and still it’s working, and it should continue to be enforced. If there are other issues, which the parties, all parties, reached to a conclusion that they can have dialogue and understanding, certainly that’s a possibility for the future.”

“This is unfortunate, because this is the second time that Europe is really determined to salvage negotiations on a solution, because that was done in 2005 also, but they were not successful. This time they are determined to salvage the JCPOA and we know they are doing this with a good will, to convince the United States to stay in the deal. But the realities that they have not been able to do that. And we also shared with them the concern that we agree on the strategy but not the tactic. They should not be, in fact, waiting to see if they can appease President Trump by giving him more concessions, because we think that that is impossible to convince the United States by such decisions. We should be very clear to the United States that we have a deal, we want to stay in the deal, and this deal should be effectively implemented.”

“There have been some allegations against the conducting of such activity in Iran, but never was any proof presented to Iran. And in fact, during the technical talks with the agency for so long time under the different names under resolving past issues, resolving the past allegations, we were able, in fact, with the IAEA to reach a certain understanding. And the IAEA presented its final assessment on the issue. And according to that final assessment, which was that Iran has not been engaged in a nuclear weapons program, the Board of Governors of the IAEA closed this file permanently. So that was based on the realities on the ground.”

“We believe that, in fact, staying within the NPT modalities and renouncing a nuclear option, this is a fundamental policy of Iran. So, we don’t pursue that route, but unfortunately because of the frustration over the implementation of the deal, now there is a deal, which is more strengthened in Iran, that we should be out of the NPT. Of course, we are not saying that we should start a nuclear weapons program. But they are very frustrated about being in the NPT but deprived of the rights of a state party to the treaty.”

“We have a consensus in Iran that we want to stay within the NPT but we should be able to also be enjoying our rights as a state party. But as I said, because of such frustration now there are some views, stronger and stronger, that Iran may be is not able to enjoy its rights under the NPT and it is better to withdraw from the NPT.”

May 2, 2018, in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour


Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi

"Countries that have themselves built nuclear weapons are not allowed to prevent [other] countries' use of peaceful nuclear technology under the pretext of [promoting] non-proliferation." 

May 3, 2018, in an address to the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in Geneva, according to PressTV

"The deployment of nuclear weapons by the United States in Europe under the umbrella provided by NATO, and helping the Zionist regime with nuclear arms production and tests, and nuclear assistance to governments outside the NPT are in clear violation of the treaty." 

May 3, 2018, in an address to the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in Geneva, according to Fars News Agency

“NPT-designated states have agreed during the review conferences that they should be prioritized for all activities in line with development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but in practice, we see that those nuclear-armed countries that have not signed the NPT have been given the priority in nuclear cooperation,” 

"The right to develop nuclear energy for peaceul purposes and full participation in the exchange of equipment, materials and nuclear know-how for peaceful use of nuclear energy is one of the fundamental objectives of the NPT. Therefore, all signatory states in possession of advanced nuclear technology must fully abide with their commitments under the article IV of the treaty.”

May 3, 2018, in an address to the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in Geneva, according to Mehr News Agency

"The deployment of nuclear weapons by the United States in Europe under the umbrella provided by NATO, and helping the Zionist regime with nuclear arms production and tests, and nuclear assistance to governments outside the NPT are in clear violation of the treaty.”

"Forcing Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty and putting all of its nuclear activities and facilities under the safeguard of the International Atomic Energy Agency must be one of the commission's main recommendations.”

May 1, 2018, in remarks at the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in Geneva, according to Fars News Agency



Click here for information about Prime Minister Netanyahu's revelations about Iran's nuclear program. 

Click here for Europe's reactions to Israel's claims. 

Click here for the U.S. response to Israeli allegations. 

Click here for the IAEA's statement and report about Iran's nuclear activities.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on April 30, 2018.