As in the March 2013 interview with Israeli TV embedded below (note: only the first 35 seconds are in Hebrew). Until recently President Obama had been claiming that Iran was about a year from being able to build a nuclear weapon.
In October of that year when Netanyahu said Iran was only six months from a bomb Obama told the Associated Press that the U.S. estimates were that Iran was still a year plus away and indicated that he thought Bibi was over cautious:
Q: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this week that Iran is about six months away from being able to produce a nuclear weapon. You said in March, before your trip to Israel, that you thought Iran was a year or more away. What’s the U.S. intelligence assessment at this point on that timetable?
Obama: Our assessment continues to be a year or more away. And in fact, actually, our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services.
So we share a lot of intelligence with Israelis. I think Prime Minister Netanyahu understandably is very skeptical about Iran, given the threats that they’ve made repeatedly against Israel, given the aid that they’ve given to organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas that have fired rockets into Israel. If I were the Prime Minister of Israel, I would be very wary as well of any kind of talk from the Iranians.
The truth is despite what he said to the American public and indeed the world, Obama knew that Iran was only 2-3 month away from being able to construct a bomb.
Earlier in the week Bloomberg reported:
Speaking to reporters and editors at our Washington bureau on Monday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz acknowledged that the U.S. has assessed for several years that Iran has been two to three months away from producing enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. When asked how long the administration has held this assessment, Moniz said: “Oh quite some time.” He added: “They are now, they are right now spinning, I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000. Plus all the . . . . R&D work. If you put that together it’s very, very little time to go forward. That’s the 2-3 months
Today Eli Lake reported that the Administration was being intentionally ambiguous:
David Albright, a former weapons inspector and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, told me administration officials appeared to be intentionally unspecific in 2013, when the talking points used the 12-months-plus timeline. “They weren’t clear at all about what this one-year estimate meant, but people like me who said let’s break it down to the constituent pieces in terms of time to build a bomb were rebuffed,” he said. Albright’s group released its own breakout timetable that focused solely on the production of highly enriched uranium, not the weapon itself. It concluded Iran was potentially less than a month away.
When USA Today asked a spokeswoman for the National Security Council about Albright’s estimate, she responded that the intelligence community maintained a number of estimates for how long Iran would take to produce enough material for a weapon.
“They have made it very hard for those of us saying, let’s just focus on weapons-grade uranium, there is this shorter period of time and not a year,” Albright told me. “If you just want a nuclear test device to blow up underground, I don’t think you need a year.”
Not that it is surprising that President Obama lied. But we should be wondering if he lied about the breakout time for two years so he could make the Iran deal a crowning achievement, what is he lying about with regards to Iran today?