The International Atomic Energy Agency has found traces of radioactive materials at a "secret atomic warehouse" which prove Iran's violation the 2015 nuclear deal, but has avoided publicising this information, Israel's Channel 13 broadcaster has reported, citing four senior Israeli officials said to be involved in the matter.
'Top Israeli sources' told Channel 13 that IAEA officials were holding back publicising information about the violations at the 'secret' site at Turquzabad, whose existence was reportedly revealed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his 2018 'Iran Lied' speech.
IAEA officials visited the Turquzabad site repeatedly by April 2019, taking samples from the site and promising to reveal their findings in June, but have yet to do so. Instead, the Jerusalem Post has alleged, the IAEA and others have been "distracted by Iran's open violations of uranium enrichment limits," including by the recent announcement by Iranian officials that Iran has begun enriching uranium beyond the 3.67 per cent limit outlined by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear treaty.
According to Channel 13, IAEA inspectors could conclude that there were "traces of radioactive material" at the site. The channel noted that "the storing of radioactive material in a secret facility without informing the IAEA is a breach of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which Iran is a signatory."
Iran maintains that it is not pursuing a nuclear weapon, with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Hossein Salami recently saying that such arms "have no place in Islam," and that Iran is opposed to all weapons of mass destruction.
Experts have pointed out that if Iran were to pursue nuclear weapons, it would have to ramp up enrichment of uranium-235 substantially from the current 3.67+ level, to at least 20 percent or higher, with weapons-grade uranium typically having a uranium-235 concentration of 85 percent or more.
Last year, just days before US President Donald Trump announced that the US would be unilaterally withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a media presentation based on Mossad intelligence accusing Iran of 'lying to the world' about its commitment to the JCPOA. Iran has vocally denied Netanyahu's allegations, and has accused Tel Aviv of trying to "kill" the JCPOA, while recalling that Israel is the only state in the region with an actual nuclear arsenal.
On Wednesday, President Trump accused Iran of "secretly enriching" uranium in violation of the "terrible" JCPOA nuclear deal signed by his predecessors, and promised that sanctions would "soon be increased, substantially!" A day earlier, US IAEA representative Jackie Wolcott said the US remained open to the "full normalization of relations" with Iran, in exchange for a full reversal of "its recent nuclear steps" and a halt in "any plans for further advancements in the future."