The smug dismissal of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s revelations about Iran’s long-standing nuclear program by leftist icons like the New York Times and Haaretz notwithstanding, the evidence Netanyahu presented was right on point – and timely – especially since President Trump is nearing a decision on continued U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Netanyahu’s presentation made a compelling case for the proposition that Iranian negotiators falsely claimed in the JCPOA negotiations that they never had a nuclear weapons program in place, only a program dedicated to providing civilian electric power. So, The Times sniffed that the prime minister did not provide any new “evidence that Iran had violated the nuclear agreement since it took effect in early 2016.”
Haaretz said the “information provided by the prime minister…in an unnecessary stage show, was largely recycled and intended to persuade the United States and European countries to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran.”
And many commentators on the left also made a big thing of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ comment that Netanyahu’s information is “consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and its own people.” They emphasized that Ms. Huckabee used the word “had,” not “has.” Thus, Iran is not in violation of JCPOA, they said.
Yet, Netanyahu stressed in his presentation that the Iranians “archived” their suspended nuclear program, so as to have it available for quick resumption. The premise of the perhaps pivotal provision of JCPOA, of course, was that Iran would need time to embark on a nuclear weapons program and convert its nuclear infrastructure from a civilian one into a military one.
Given Iran’s open and notorious intercontinental ballistic missile development program, this constitutes quite a problem. And we trust President Trump will take it into account in deciding whether to pull us out of JCPOA.