Iran calls Israeli PM Netanyahu an 'infamous liar', rejects nuclear allegations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, on April 30, 2018.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, on April 30, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TEHERAN (AFP, REUTERS) - Iran on Tuesday (May 1) branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an "infamous liar" over his allegations of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons programme.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi called the accusations that Teheran lied about its nuclear ambitions "worn-out, useless and shameful".

Mr Netanyahu's comments came from a "broke and infamous liar who has had nothing to offer except lies and deceits", Mr Ghasemi said in a statement.

"Netanyahu and the notorious, child-killing Zionist regime must have reached the basic understanding that the people of the world have enough awareness and cognisance," he added.

Mr Netanyahu said in an elaborate televised presentation on Monday that he had new "proof" of an Iranian nuclear weapons plan that could be activated at any time.

But he did not provide evidence that Israel's main enemy had actively worked to obtain an atomic weapon since the 2015 agreement between Teheran and six world powers.

His accusations came as the United States considers whether to pull out of the atomic accord with Teheran.

Iran has always denied it sought a nuclear weapon, insisting its atomic programme was for civilian purposes.

France's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the information provided by Israel could be a basis for long-term monitoring of Teheran's nuclear activities.

The ministry said the Israeli intelligence information confirmed the non-civilian nature of the programme revealed by European powers in 2002, but that it merely proved the need to ensure the nuclear deal and UN inspections remained.