CNN's Cuomo asks Netanyahu: Why give Iran speech 'in English and do it in such a big way?'

CNN's Chris Cuomo early Tuesday asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu why he gave his nationally televised speech on Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions in English and in such a "big way."

Netanyahu appeared on the network and others to defend his claims, based on findings by Israeli intelligence, that "Iran lied" about its nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday it found no evidence that Iran was continuing its nuclear weapons program following an agreement made with the U.S. and its European allies in 2015.

"So, first let’s talk about how this came about and then we’ll talk about why you think it matters," Cuomo said in a satellite interview with the Israeli leader from Jerusalem. "This is described as an unusually theatrical display for you and you gave this speech in English. Why give this speech in English and do it in such a big way?"

"Well, because I wanted the world to hear it, all of it. There are only a few million Hebrew speakers and there are a few billion English speakers. So I think that’s why I did it," Netanyahu responded.


"Look, I would have done it in other places as well, you know that I spoke before the American Congress [in 2015 and 2017] when I thought there was an important message," he continued.

"President [Emmanuel] Macron of France spoke to the American Congress the other day. This is a very important subject which relates to [the] quest for peace and security in the Middle East of the world and I think it was important that the broadest audience possible would hear the dramatic findings that we found about Iran’s secret nuclear weapon’s program."

Netanyahu said during his presentation from Tel Aviv on Monday that Israeli spies had found a "highly secret" location in Tehran after the Iranian nuclear deal was signed that contained more than 55,000 pages of documents and 55,000 electronic files.

"These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program," Netanyahu said.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhat the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Fox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel Anti-US trade war song going viral in China MORE, who has repeatedly criticized the Iran deal reached under former President Obama and vowed to "rip it up" during the 2016 campaign, told reporters at the White House on Monday that a possible exit from the deal would have no effect on an upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“I think it sends the right message,” Trump replied after being asked if pulling out of an agreement with Iran could upset talks with North Korea.

“You know in seven years, that deal will have expired and Iran is free to go ahead and create nuclear weapons,” Trump added. “Seven years is tomorrow. That’s not acceptable.”