Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel Accuses Iran Of Cheating On Nuclear Deal

Downing Street has joined France and Russia in defended the international nuclear deal Iran, calling it "vitally important". 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Downing Street has defended the "vitally important" Iran nuclear deal, despite Israeli claims that the country's continuing to pursue atomic weapons. 

Israel has unveiled "half ton" of Iranian nuclear documents which it claims prove that Tehran covered up a nuclear weapons programme before signing a deal with the international community in 2015.

In a speech delivered in English, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the material showed Iran cannot be trusted, and urged President Donald Trump to withdraw from the deal next month.

"Iran lied, big time," Mr Netanyahu said.

His presentation, delivered on live TV from Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, was his latest attempt to sway international opinion on the nuclear deal.

Although, Mr Netanyahu provided no direct evidence that Tehran has violated the 2015 agreement, which is not believed to have banned Iran from keeping its old records.

The deal offered Iran relief from crippling sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

Mr Netanyahu furiously fought the deal while Barack Obama was negotiating it, and he has been a leading critic since it was signed.

He says it does not provide sufficient safeguards to prevent Iran from reaching a nuclear weapons capability.

The US President Donald Trump called the agreement "the worst deal ever", signaling he will pull out of the agreement by May 12 unless it is revised, but he faces intense pressure from European allies not to do so.

Mr Trump said the presentation and other recent events show he was "100% right" about Iran.

He said Tehran's behaviour is "just not an acceptable situation", pointing to missile tests and adding that Iran is "not sitting back idly".

Iran has adamantly denied ever seeking nuclear weapons.

The semi-official Fars news agency, believed to be close to the hard-line Revolutionary Guard, dismissed Mr Netanyahu's speech as a "propaganda show".

The European Union's foreign affairs chief said Mr Netanyahu's latest allegations do not appear to show Tehran is currently violating the 2015 international nuclear agreement.

Federica Mogherini said: "What I have seen from the first reports is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has not put into question Iran's compliance."

She insisted it is "first and foremost" the International Atomic Energy Agency that must make the assessment whether Iran is abiding by the deal, because "the IAEA is the only impartial, international organisation that is in charge of monitoring Iran's nuclear commitments".