Neytanyahu delivered a visual-heavy presentation Monday that claimed to prove Tehran secretly pursued developing nuclear weapons, in a bid to undermine support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 agreement signed with six major world powers to curb its nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief.
"Tonight, I'm here to tell you one thing. Iran lied, big time," he said in a televised statement from Israel, displaying a trove of files comprising 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs he called an "atomic archive."
Diplomats and intelligence experts, however, have refuted the idea that these documents prove anything beyond what they already knew when the deal was signed — that Iran certainly did pursue nuclear arms development, which then led to stringent international sanctions and ultimately the negotiation for a deal. During the 2015 negotiations, Iran was suspected of lying about the military dimensions of its now-shelved nuclear program from 2003. But the experts said Israel's evidence still does not point to a violation of the JCPOA or current pursuit of a bomb.
So, rather than shock supporters of the deal into opposing it, which may have been among Netanyahu's aims, the presentation has left the JCPOA's fate largely unchanged. It's most likely to fail regardless, analysts said.
"It is unclear whether any new information regarding Iran's nuclear activities was revealed or any new argument for scrapping the nuclear deal," said Hasnain Malik, global head of equity research at Exotix Capital.