On April 30, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented evidence that Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program. He also charged that Iran is still working to "expand its nuclear weapons know-how for future use," despite the 2015 nuclear deal. Former U.S. officials and nuclear nonproliferation experts expressed a range of reactions. Netanyahu's briefing was "interesting, and important for building a history of [Iran's] program," said Richard Nephew, the former lead sanctions expert for the U.S. negotiating team under the Obama administration.
The value of Iran’s rial declined rapidly in early April, triggering a race on foreign currency and public panic. Iranians who lined up outside banks to buy dollars were turned away because of shortages. The rial had already been depreciating for months. It lost nearly half of its value on the free market against the dollar between September 2017 and April 2018.
European leaders have reaffirmed their support for the Iran nuclear deal in the wake of Israeli allegations over Iran's attempts to design, produce and test nuclear weapons. "The Israeli Prime Minister’s presentation on Iran’s past research into nuclear weapons technology underlines the importance of keeping the Iran nuclear deal’s constraints on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions," British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.
On May 1, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claims about Iran's efforts to design, produce and test nuclear weapons. The IAEA statement pointed to its 2015 report that covered many of the same issues.
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.
On April 30, President Donald Trump cited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s revelations about Iran’s nuclear activities and ballistic missile program as proof that the nuclear deal is flawed. “I think if anything what’s happening today … and what we’ve learned [from Israel] has really shown that I’ve been 100 percent right,” said Trump during a press conference with Nigeria’s president.
The three major European powers —Britain, France and Germany — have been quietly negotiating with the United States since January on how to supplement the Iran nuclear deal. President Donald Trump has demanded fixes to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under threat of withdrawing from it; he is due to make a decision on May 12. European and U.S.
On April 26, Mike Pompeo embarked on his first international trip as Secretary of State. His first stop was Brussels, where he discussed the Iran nuclear deal with NATO allies. Trump has demanded fixes to the JCPOA under threat of withdrawing from it; he is due to make a decision on May 12. “There’s been no decision made,” Pompeo told reporters.
On April 26, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Iran nuclear deal includes “pretty robust” verification. He did not give his opinion about whether the United States should withdraw from the agreement, as President Donald Trump has threatened.