European intelligence officials briefed in Israel on Iran’s nuclear archive
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European intelligence officials briefed in Israel on Iran’s nuclear archive

Israeli official says reveal of trove was timed to follow Macron, Merkel meetings with Trump ahead of decision on nuke deal. ‘Last week belonged to Europeans, this week was ours’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a speech on files obtained by Israel he says proves Iran lied about its nuclear program, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, on April 30, 2018. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a speech on files obtained by Israel he says proves Iran lied about its nuclear program, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, on April 30, 2018. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Intelligence officials from France, the UK and Germany visited Israel in recent days and were briefed on Israeli findings gleaned from a trove of captured Iranian documents on the Islamic republic’s past nuclear weapons development, Channel 10 news reported Saturday.

An unnamed Israeli official told the TV station the entirety of the materials obtained by Israel in a daring Mossad operation will be provided next week to the three countries, as well as to the UN nuclear watchdog — the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed on Monday that Israeli spies had smuggled out of Iran some 100,000 archived documents and files detailing Tehran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and research in the years prior to the signing of the deal.

US President Donald Trump has set a May 12 deadline to “fix or nix” the deal.

The senior official said Israel had coordinated its reveal of the nuclear documents with the White House, timing Netanyahu’s press briefing to follow Trump’s meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emanuelle Macron — who both sought to convince the US leader not to leave the accord.

“We stand before a critical decision by Trump regarding the nuclear agreement,” the official told Channel 10. “Last week belonged to the Europeans, this week was ours.”

On Friday Netanyahu spoke with three key international leaders about the Iranian nuclear archives, his office said, as he sought to garner further support for his call to “fix” or “nix” the Iran nuclear deal.

Netanyahu spoke with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and British Prime Minister Theresa May. His office said he “discussed regional issues with the world leaders and also updated them on the important material that he revealed regarding the Iranian nuclear archive.”

Earlier in the week Netanyahu spoke to Merkel, Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin to update them about the Mossad’s findings.

During an at-times-theatrical presentation Monday evening, Netanyahu showcased an enormous trove of Iranian documents that he said proved the existence of Iran’s Project Amad, which it froze in 2003.

Earlier this year, Mossad agents managed to obtain and smuggle into Israel 55,000 paper documents and 183 CDs with another 55,000 documents that seemed to shore up the international community’s longstanding suspicion that the Islamic republic was investing great efforts in building a nuclear weapon.

“What happened in the last weeks is we turned questions marks into exclamation marks,” Netanyahu said. “We uncovered things we believed were true but couldn’t prove, and also discovered new things regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

Commenting on the expectation that the United States will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal on May 12, he added: “The decision is President [Donald] Trump’s decision alone. He’s a leader who knows to take decisions, and he takes them.”

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