Defenders of the Iran deal are attempting to repair the reputation of their signature foreign policy endeavor following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bombshell presentation Monday about the longtime existence of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Now, in an attempt to spin the narrative back in their direction, several former Obama administration officials are taking to the media claiming that they already knew about Iran’s quest for nukes.
Dan Shapiro, the Obama administration’s ambassador to Israel, said Tuesday that the Obama White House knew that Iran lied about nuclear weapons development.
“We all expected Iran to lie,” Shapiro told Israeli media Tuesday morning, “but with oversight, the destruction of the centrifuges, and the removal of uranium, it was believed this would guarantee that Iran would not acquire a nuclear weapon over the next decade or decade and a half.”
Other Iran deal defenders have described the Netanyahu presentation as “old news.” That certainly wasn’t the case when the past administration was attempting to sell the American people on a deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran.
In the debate over the Iran deal, officials in the Obama administration (and its Republican enablers like Sen. Bob Corker) consistently vouched for the Iranian regime’s credibility. President Obama and his senior advisers did this by sowing doubt about the legitimacy — and threat posed by — Iran’s nuclear program. They often cited a fatwa (Islamic decree) that they displayed as proof that Iran wasn’t really that interested in developing nuclear weapons.
Speaking before the United Nations in 2013, the former president cited the Iranian supreme leader’s fatwa against nukes:
“Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons,” Obama stated, “and President Rouhani has just recently reiterated that the Islamic Republic will never develop a nuclear weapon.”
Obama again brought up the fatwa in a 2015 address commemorating the Persian holiday of Nowruz. He explained:
“Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.”
“President Obama and I both are extremely welcoming and grateful for the fact that the supreme leader has issued a fatwa,” former Secretary of State John Kerry added in 2014.
Yet Monday, Netanyahu baldly exposed the Iranian regime as a pack of liars who intended to develop nuclear weapons. He revealed that the supposed fatwa was not even worth the paper it was never written on.
If we take the Iran echo chamber’s talking points at face value and accept that it was true that the Obama administration knew all along that Iran was lying about its nuclear ambitions, why then did President Obama and his senior cabinet officials lie to the American people to cover for Iran’s lies?