Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has dismissed Israeli claims that Tehran has a secret atomic warehouse. Zarif also called on Israel to open its "illegal nuclear weapons" program to international inspectors.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday ridiculed Israeli claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his UN General Assembly Thursday that Iran possessed a largescale and "secret atomic warehouse."
"No arts and craft show will ever obfuscate that Israel is only regime in our region with a *secret* and *undeclared* nuclear weapons program - including an *actual atomic arsenal,*" he tweeted.
He appeared to be referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at the UN General Assembly on Thursday when he displayed maps and photos of what he claimed was a secret nuclear weapons storage site in Tehran disguised as a rug-cleaning business.
Netanyahu said that 15 kilograms of radioactive material had been relocated from the site to other parts of the capital in recent weeks and called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate.
Israel, along with Saudi Arabia, backed moves initiated last May by US President Donald Trump to abandon a six-power nuclear restrain accord reached with Iran in 2015 that involved Germany and France.
Washington's resulting imposition of sanctions on Iran has led torifts with longstanding US allies.
'Baseless and ridiculous'
On Thursday, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Netanyahu's claim were "baseless and ridiculous" and added that the only recognized supervisory body for nuclear facilities was the IAEA and that it had certified Iran's nuclear program as peaceful 12 times since 2015.
Zarif also demanded Israel "open its illegal nuclear weapons" program to international inspectors. "Time for Israel to fess up and open its illegal nuclear weapons program to international inspectors," he tweeted.
Zarif said the IAEA had certified that Iran is in compliance with its obligations under the 2015 international nuclear deal that forbids it from developing nuclear weapons. The US withdrew from the deal in May.
"Netanyahu must explain how Israel, as the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East region, can put itself in a position to level such brazen accusations against a country whose [nuclear] program has been repeatedly declared peaceful by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," Zarif told IRNA on Thursday.
jbh, ipj/ng (AFP, dpa)