JERUSALEM, Israel – Over the weekend, several prominent US newspapers featured stories on the Iranian nuclear weapons program, just before US President Donald Trump's summit Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The stories sprung from an Israeli decision to share some of the material ferreted from Tehran by the Mossad (Israel's secret service) last January.
Israeli Intelligence officials briefed US reporters on the significance of the find and what it means for the future, according to reports in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
At the briefing, the reporters were permitted to touch original documents, with gloved hands, and were given copies of some of the 100,000-documents in the data base.
The briefing appeared to convince them that Iran is continuing to pursue nuclear weapons capability despite its official denial.
Following last January's dramatic heist, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a power point video from the data documenting what he's been trying to expose for years: the Iranian regime's nuclear weapons aspirations.
At the time, CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief called Netanyahu's presentation "the power point heard round the world."
A few years earlier, Mitchell described Netanyahu's 2015 speech before a joint session of Congress as "the speech heard round the world." Despite potential repercussions from the Obama administration, Netanyahu accepted then House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to address a joint session of Congress.
The following July, the deal was signed.
Exposing Iran's nuclear weapons program has topped Netanyahu's agenda for many years.
In 2012, he used a simple graphic during his address to the UN General Assembly to illustrate the point.
In his speech the following year, he shed some light on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's past.
Ali Akbar Salehi (left), head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Photo, AP
President Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement and reinstate economic sanctions, which he announced in May, drew criticism from the European Union and much of the mainstream press.
Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, traveled to Europe to lobby on behalf of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the remaining signatories: France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia.
According to Reuters, Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel the proposed measures to offset US sanctions were insufficient, calling them "disappointing."
In May, Rouhani led an Iranian delegation to China. During the three-day visit, Rouhani and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MoU).
China, Iran's largest trade partner, has criticized the US withdrawal from the JCPOA.