National Security

Yes, Obama's Iran Nuke Deal Really Was the Sum of All Lies

Benjamin Netanyahu's damning report of Iran's lies undermines the whole foundation of the deal.

Nate Jackson · May 1, 2018

Just yesterday, we wrote about the upcoming negotiations and policy considerations surrounding Barack Obama’s 2015 Iran nuclear deal — how President Donald Trump was facing pressure from European allies to once again waive sanctions and continue pretending everything is all well and good. Soon after we published, along came Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to effectively nuke the idea that Iran has ever done anything but lie about its nuclear program.

Israeli intelligence collected a massive amount of intelligence — literally half a ton of materials — proving that Iran hid its nuclear weapons program for two decades. And the U.S. has verified it. “I am here to tell you one thing: Iran lied,” Netanyahu said. “After signing the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran intensified its efforts to hide its secret files.” He continued, “We’ve known for years that Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program called Project Amad. We can now prove that Project Amad was a comprehensive program to design, build and test nuclear weapons. We can also prove that Iran is secretly storing Project Amad material to use at a time of its choice to develop nuclear weapons.” Those weapons include a goal of five 10-kiloton nuclear warheads, all to go with its ballistic missile program that Obama allowed to continue.

As part of the ruse, Iran ensured that some of its program was dual-use — nuclear energy, not weapons. But it continued covert work on nuclear weapons, particularly at its Fordow facility, and lied to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about that work and Project Amad. So much for what it insisted were “peaceful purposes.”

Obama’s nuclear deal was built on lies, just as we said from the beginning. The worst part is that Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, weren’t duped — they were part of the con, all in search of a legacy for Obama. And what a horrible legacy it was, too.

Bloomberg’s Eli Lake observes, “Advocating for a pact in 2015, John Kerry said American agencies had ‘absolute knowledge’ about the regime’s past nuclear efforts. Oops.” Except it wasn’t an “oops.” Team Obama deliberately looked the other way and deceived the world. Now, Lake says, “Beyond the fate of the nuclear deal, the Israeli intelligence also presents a crisis for the [1970] Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a member. If verified, it shows that Iran has systematically lied to weapons inspectors for nearly 20 years. If Iran doesn’t pay a price for its deception, then what is to stop future rogues from following the Iran model?”

Even if Trump now pulls out of the deal, however, Europe may stand by it. The Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan argues, “Yet while Israel’s intelligence community, the Mossad in particular, deserves immense credit for successfully seizing and extricating this material from an Iranian stronghold, it is unlikely to persuade Europe’s big three (Britain, France and Germany) to join Trump in withdrawing from the deal. To persuade those leaders to do so, Netanyahu would have needed to show evidence of continuing, covert Iranian efforts either to construct a nuclear weapon or to secretly enrich uranium beyond the low-level cap the current agreement allows for medical research. That was not on display [Monday].”

Time will soon tell what Trump does, but in discussing Netanyahu’s report in a Monday press conference, he made another important strategic point: Pulling out of the Iran deal would send “the right message” to North Korea.

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