07:41 GMT18 February 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Iran has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a ”liar” after he said he has proof of the country's secret nuclear program. Netanyahu claimed that Iran continued covertly expanding its nuclear capabilities despite the 2015 deal.

    Sputnik discussed this with Mohammad Marandi, a University of Tehran professor who has taken part in the nuclear talks.

    Sputnik: What do you make of the timing of Mr. Netanyahu's statement in light of the upcoming deadline on the Iranian deal?

    Mohammad Marandi: I think it's very convenient coming just days before Trump wants to make his decision about whether or not to withdraw from the agreement, and we know that Netanyahu has a long history of lying. The accusation that he's making are not new, the Iranians have responded to all of the accusations that have been made in the past, and this has been done through the IAEA.

    READ MORE: Trump Would Praise Iran Nuclear Deal if He Negotiated It — Ex-British Diplomat

    We can also recall a previous incident where the Israeli regime provided the MEK (Mujahideen-e-Khalq) terrorist organization with a laptop which they claim was full of documents from the Iranian nuclear program proving that somehow Iran was developing a nuclear weapon, and then it turned out that the so-called laptop, the documents on the file, they were fabrications, there were inconsistencies, and it later became clear that the Israeli regime provided the terrorist organization the laptop to make these accusations against Iran.

    So I think people in Iran were expecting something strange and to happen before the Trump decision or announcement, and it is quite probable that there was some sort of coordination between Netanyahu and Trump.

    One point that I think is really interesting, it really hasn't been discussed in the media, and I think it should make top news across the globe, it should've been at least, it was that when Pompeo, he went in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and he admitted because he was trying to justify the US exiting the nuclear deal, and he admitted that before the JCPOA, or the nuclear deal, the Iranians were not racing for a nuclear weapon, the Iranians were not pursuing a nuclear weapon.

    But what he unwittingly basically said was that all the propaganda over the last 50 years over Iran where the Americans, the US Presidents Obama and Bush were making accusations that Iran was developing nuclear weapons, all of these were dishonest.

    Sputnik: Now that Prime Minister Netanyahu has made these further claims is President Trump now going to be swayed by them, what are your thoughts on it?

    Mohammad Marandi: I don't think he's going to be swayed either way. I think it's quite possible that the Israelis and the Americans have coordinated this beforehand, either so they would help justify Trump exiting the agreement, or so that Trump could use these fabrications to put more pressure on Iran so that Iran will give concessions to the United States; but that's impossible.

    When the Iranians signed up to this agreement, many in Iran never believed that this was a good agreement, many Iranians felt that Iran gave too many concessions, but at the end of the day, when the decision was made in Iran to sign up to this, those who were opposed and those who were for the agreement, they all agreed that Iran must abide by its commitments.

    READ MORE: Netanyahu Seeks to Prod Trump to Withdraw From Iran Nuclear Deal — Reports

    When the United States, which has been violating the agreement ever since it was signed, in effect, both under Obama and Trump, when they do not abide by the current agreement how in the world they expect Iran to negotiate with them on anything else, when the United States cannot be trusted to implement what it has promised to implement in the past, then there's really no reason to negotiate with the United States over anything in the future.

    Sputnik: Russia and Europe are urging to respect the agreement, saying that Iran is abiding by it as a participant of the nuclear talks in Vienna, what's your take on whether the accord needs to be improved?

    Mohammad Marandi: The Europeans have shown themselves to be weak, and the very fact that Macron went to Washington and was acting, in my opinion, humiliated by Trump in public with the whole dandruff incident, so when the Europeans try to appease Trump like that, whether it's Macron or the German Chancellor, it makes them look irrelevant, but, obviously, they are opposed to Trump's actions whether they stand up to him or not that's another question, and it reveals about a great deal about the Europeans.

    But the Russians and the Chinese, obviously, based on principle, are very much against this sort of behavior of the United States. The Iranians actually believe that they're the ones who should be complaining because, as things stand, the United States has not been implementing the current agreement from day one, so the United States continues to threaten and bully banks, and prevent them from cooperating with Iran, and this is in direct violation of Articles 26 to 29 in the JCPOA, or the nuclear agreement, so the Iranians are saying — right now you're not implementing the agreement and now you expect us to give more concessions to you; that's just impossible.

    The views and opinions expressed by the expert do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


    Iran's Nuclear Chief Hopes Trump 'Comes to Senses,' Stays in Nuclear Deal - TV
    Putin, Macron Back Preservation of Iran Nuclear Deal
    Macron, Rouhani Agree to Work on Preserving Iran's Nuclear Deal - Elysee Palace
    Iran deal, Iran, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook