Netanyahu and Iran’s Atomic Archive: What’s New and What’s Not

May 1, 2018
Joshua Pollack

The following is an excerpt from Defense One

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is nothing if not a showman. No world leader makes more effective use of props and visual aids, from the literal red line he drew on a cartoon bomb diagram at the United Nations in 2012 to the fragment of an Iranian drone he brandished at the Munich Security Conference this February. Few are so comfortable delivering public remarks in English, never mind someone who is not even a native speaker. Love him or hate him, the man has talent.

But speaking on Monday in a televised address from the Kirya—Israel’s Ministry of Defense—Bibi outdid himself. “Tonight,” he declared, “we’re going to show you something that the world has never seen before.” Striding across a stage, he revealed a collection of papers and CD-ROMs, representing a cache of documents recently snatched out of Iran by Israeli intelligence.

The Prime Minister then proceeded to walk his audience through the contents of what he called Iran’s “atomic archive.” Using a slideshow to make the case that “Iran lied” about never having pursued nuclear weapons, he appealed to President Trump to “do the right thing” about the “terrible deal” concluded with Iran in 2015 to constrain its nuclear program.

As Bibi knows, Trump must decide this May 12 whether to continue to waive sanctions against Iran, in keeping with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or “Iran deal.” Failing to renew the waivers would effectively withdraw United States from the agreement, with unpredictable consequences.

Show, don’t tell

We can be sure that the President, well-known to be a visual learner, appreciated Bibi’s style of presentation. Unfortunately, Netanyahu showed very little that we haven’t already been told.

Continue reading at Defense One

Comments Are Closed