Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday dismissed claims by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day that Iran had been working on nuclear weapons development at a secret site which it demolished when it realized Israel had uncovered the location.
"The possessor of REAL nukes cries wolf on an ALLEGED 'demolished' site in Iran," Zarif wrote on Twitter, referring to Israel's never formally acknowledged nuclear weapons program.
Zarif also published images from a 1986 Sunday Times report exposing Israel's nuclear activities.
"He & #B_Team just want a war, no matter innocent blood & another $7 TRILLION," the Iranian foreign minister wrote.
Zarif did not address what the Iranian site was, nor why it appeared to be demolished in Netanyahu's presentation.
The possessor of REAL nukes cries wolf—on an ALLEGED “demolished" site in Iran— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 9, 2019
He & #B_Team just want a war, no matter innocent blood & another $7 TRILLION
Remember his “GUARANTEE” of "positive reverberations" in ’02?
This time, he assuredly won’t be on the sidelines watching. pic.twitter.com/LsR6PYkZZs
Speaking at a press conference from Jerusalem earlier Monday, Netanyahu displayed a satellite photo of the facility taken in June, followed by a second photo of what he said was the site being destroyed in July.
It was the first time that Netanyahu had identified the site, which, he said, was discovered in a trove of Iranian documents Israel previously obtained and released publicly last year.
"Today, we reveal that yet another secret nuclear site was exposed in the archives that we brought from Tehran. In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons. This is the site near Abadeh, south of Isfahan," he said.
Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the international nuclear deal with Iran, maintains Tehran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon -- a charge Iran denies.
"This is what I have to say to the tyrants of Tehran: Israel knows what you're doing, Israel knows when you're doing it and Israel knows where you're doing it. We will continue to expose your lies. What we see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception and violations," Netanyahu said.
The revelation earned the prime minister criticism at home, with Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz accusing Netanyahu of politicizing sensitive intelligence ahead of next Tuesday's elections in Israel.
Netanyahu was using "sensitive security information for propaganda purposes," said the former army chief, whose party is neck and neck with Netanyahu's Likud in the polls.
Gantz said that the prime minister had shown "poor judgment" in releasing the information.