EU says Iran 'complying' with nuclear deal despite Israeli claims

Brussels (AFP) –


EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's allegations of a secret Iranian atomic weapons programme do "not put into question" Tehran's compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"We need to assess the details of the statement Prime Minister Netanyahu has made," Mogherini said in a statement on Monday night after Netanyahu said he had new "proof" of an Iranian plan that could be activated at any time to get an atomic bomb.

Netanyahu, who has repeatedly called for the accord between world powers and his country's main enemy Iran to be altered or scrapped, gave a presentation on television allegedly exposing Iran's nuclear dossier.

Emphasising she was giving a preliminary reaction, Mogherini also stressed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needed to assess the Israeli claims.

"The IAEA is the only impartial, international organisation that is in charge of monitoring Iran's nuclear commitments."

"What I have seen from the first reports is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has not put into question Iran's compliance with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) commitments, meaning post-2015 nuclear commitments," she added.

Under the JCPOA deal -- signed by Iran, the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- Tehran agreed to curbs on its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

"I have not seen from Prime Minister Netanyahu arguments for the moment on non-compliance, meaning violation by Iran of its nuclear commitments under the deal," Mogherini said.

"Iran has fully complied with its commitments," according to 10 IAEA reports, she said.

The international community is waiting for a decision by US President Donald Trump on whether to pull out of the nuclear deal with Tehran, which he has called the "worst ever".

The US could withdraw completely on May 12 -- the next deadline for waiving Iranian sanctions.

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

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi on Tuesday branded Netanyahu an "infamous liar" and called the accusations that Tehran lied about its nuclear ambitions "worn-out, useless and shameful".