Politics Foreign Affairs Culture

Don’t Fall for Netanyahu’s Propaganda

Netanyahu has every incentive to lie about the nuclear deal right now to make sure that Trump reneges on it.
Trump Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been a vehement opponent of the nuclear deal for years, and he has repeatedly made false alarmist claims about Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons over the last two decades. Bear that in mind when you read this:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make a televised announcement Monday evening (1700 GMT) in what his office said would be a “significant development” regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The IAEA has verified Iranian compliance with the terms of the agreement ten times in a row, so it is very doubtful that the Israeli government has any relevant information about a “significant development” regarding the nuclear deal. Whatever Netanyahu announces later today should be viewed with extreme skepticism. Netanyahu has every incentive to lie about the nuclear deal right now to make sure that Trump reneges on it in two weeks, and coming on the heels of another Israeli attack on Iranian targets in Syria and Pompeo’s visit the timing of this announcement is more than a little suspicious. We should also remember that Israel has sometimes relied on spurious information from the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), the deranged totalitarian cult supported by John Bolton. It would not be a surprise if they were the ones to provide Netanyahu with the information he is going to use in his speech. Netanyahu’s announcement is practically guaranteed to be unfounded propaganda, and no one should fall for it.

Update: Netanyahu’s announcement was indeed a propaganda display intended to undermine the JCPOA, but it was a remarkably incompetent one that actually strengthened the case for keeping the nuclear deal as it is. Fred Kaplan explains:

However, the larger message of the archive—and Netanyahu’s briefing—is that the Iran nuclear deal, now more than ever, is worth preserving. Netanyahu pointed to documents suggesting that Iran had plans—he talked of secret documents, charts, presentations, and blueprints—for every aspect of designing, building, and testing nuclear weapons. What he neglected to point out is that the deal gives international inspectors highly intrusive powers to verify whether Iran is taking any steps to pursue those plans.



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