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Cuomo presses Netanyahu on Israel's nuclear capability

CNN's Chris Cuomo asks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israel's nuclear capability.

Posted: May 1, 2018 10:34 PM
Updated: May 1, 2018 10:47 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a robust defense Tuesday of a dramatic presentation in which he accused Iran of "brazenly lying" over its nuclear ambitions, after claims that he had revealed nothing new.

Netanyahu told CNN's "New Day" that a trove of documents, which he revealed in a TV address on Monday night, showed Iran had no intention of sticking to its commitments in the 2015 deal brokered with the international community.

"They don't want the world to know what I showed the world yesterday," Netanyahu said.

In his interview, Netanyahu repeatedly refused to be drawn on whether Israel had its own nuclear weapons capability, and insisted that he did not seek a military confrontation with Iran. "Nobody is seeking that kind of development," he said.

Since his prime-time presentation on Monday night, delivered in English, Netanyahu has faced accusations that it revealed little that was not already known by the international community.

Asked on "New Day" if any of the information presented by Netanyahu was new, former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden said: "No, it's not."

"To the best of my knowledge, not getting the briefings out of the government, I believe this is fundamentally old news," he added.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, judged in 2015 that there was no evidence that Iran carried out any activity related to the development of nuclear weapons after 2009.

Key documents pertaining to Iran's nuclear development program, cited by Netanyahu on Monday, were acquired by the IAEA as early as 2005. A number of documents highlighted by the Israeli Prime Minister were made public in a 2011 report.

The IAEA reiterated its position on Iran's nuclear program on Tuesday. Spokesman Fredrik Dahl told CNN that there were "no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009."

Asked about the IAEA's conclusion on CNN's "New Day", Netanyahu replied: "No one had better intelligence on Iran than Israel."

Netanyahu insisted the documents, obtained by Israeli intelligence, provided a wealth of new information. "When we got this trove of 100,000 documents, we learned so many things we didn't know. We're still learning them," he said.

"We learned an enormous amount about Iran's secret nuclear program. Now, the deal that everybody is talking about was premised on the fact that Iran had no such material. But Iran bothered, took enormous pains after the nuclear deal and before but especially after to hide this information. It's like an arsenal of knowledge."

Iran's Defnse Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami described Netanyahu's Monday presentation as a "propaganda show" and sad the allegations it contained were "baseless and unfounded."

Netanyahu's presentation came ahead of a May 12 deadline by which US President Donald Trump must decide whether to continue waiving sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the Iran deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Trump welcomed Netanyahu's presentation Monday, claiming it showed that he was "100% right" in criticizing the 2015 pact. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he believed the documents were authentic and said they contained new information that was being analyzed.

When asked about whether pulling out of the Iran agreement would damage US relations with Europe, Pompeo said the US was "working diligently to fix this thing" with its European allies.

In his CNN interview Tuesday, Netanyahu refused to discuss Israel's own nuclear capabilities, despite being pressed repeatedly by interviewer Chris Cuomo. "One thing is clear, Israel is not threatening the annihilation of any country," Netanyahu said.

Instead, he insisted that the Iran deal had prompted other countries to seek nuclear weapons.

"It's interesting that the nuclear arms race that I predicted would unfold once this deal was signed because everybody knew that they were just kicking the can forward for a few years and as time passes Iran will get a nuclear arsenal," he added.

"Now you hear other countries in the region saying we want nuclear weapons, too."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 755401

Reported Deaths: 8531
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1513291905
Ramsey62614972
Dakota56158520
Anoka53010513
Washington33145327
Stearns27922252
St. Louis23178352
Scott21316159
Wright20879170
Olmsted17821118
Sherburne15232111
Carver1336954
Clay1006598
Rice9855131
Blue Earth949559
Crow Wing9254105
Kandiyohi819195
Chisago816662
Otter Tail7807104
Benton7363108
Beltrami633276
Mower631740
Douglas616189
Goodhue603683
Winona603653
Itasca596978
McLeod580868
Steele572425
Isanti558172
Morrison541565
Becker518762
Polk502577
Freeborn480842
Nobles477052
Lyon444456
Carlton438666
Nicollet423051
Pine419930
Cass413142
Mille Lacs403565
Brown398846
Todd389336
Le Sueur378331
Meeker350452
Waseca322629
Martin316534
Wabasha28495
Hubbard283644
Dodge26819
Roseau258924
Fillmore236312
Redwood234143
Wadena230229
Houston229017
Renville224249
Faribault214630
Pennington213227
Sibley204512
Cottonwood193027
Kanabec187130
Chippewa185839
Aitkin178442
Watonwan168711
Pope15328
Rock153219
Yellow Medicine151120
Jackson144114
Koochiching137219
Clearwater133318
Swift132619
Pipestone131627
Marshall131419
Murray131310
Stevens122311
Lake106221
Wilkin100214
Lac qui Parle95024
Mahnomen86312
Norman8459
Big Stone7874
Grant7669
Lincoln7525
Kittson59522
Red Lake5769
Unassigned528124
Traverse5005
Lake of the Woods4524
Cook2420

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 467281

Reported Deaths: 6685
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk73698716
Linn28680379
Scott24441271
Black Hawk20130355
Woodbury18854242
Johnson17800100
Dubuque15577228
Pottawattamie14073197
Dallas13894107
Story1275148
Warren763496
Webster6876111
Cerro Gordo6816107
Clinton6814100
Des Moines657893
Marshall635484
Muscatine6294113
Wapello5807136
Jasper571478
Lee560787
Sioux560276
Marion499791
Buena Vista489745
Plymouth459187
Henry378647
Jones365160
Washington362255
Bremer353867
Benton352056
Boone344837
Carroll341753
Crawford337345
Mahaska313656
Dickinson297651
Clay274631
Buchanan274239
Jackson270445
Kossuth269373
Hardin266448
Tama261476
Fayette253848
Delaware253444
Cedar246326
Page244827
Wright240945
Winneshiek230837
Hamilton228553
Floyd216744
Harrison215277
Madison214325
Clayton210058
Poweshiek206840
Iowa204229
Butler203237
Jefferson197340
Mills197227
Allamakee192952
Cherokee191943
Lyon190641
Cass190557
Winnebago185432
Hancock184739
Calhoun184115
Appanoose175950
Shelby174239
Louisa169651
Grundy167937
Emmet163842
Franklin163328
Humboldt161826
Mitchell161843
Union159437
Chickasaw156418
Sac156323
Guthrie154034
Palo Alto140831
Clarke140028
Montgomery138941
Keokuk137534
Monroe131534
Howard125422
Ida116641
Davis113825
Greene113712
Lucas112224
Pocahontas109323
Monona107436
Worth10678
Adair103634
Osceola91117
Fremont83711
Van Buren82721
Decatur81212
Taylor78612
Wayne72024
Ringgold66827
Audubon64514
Adams4984
Unassigned150
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