The Obama administration was aware that Iran had lied repeatedly about its nuclear weapons program, former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Israeli media Tuesday morning, adding that the administration hoped the Iran nuclear deal would prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons for at least a decade.
Speaking on Army Radio, Shapiro responded to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s televised address Monday evening, in which the Prime Minister laid out evidence that the Iranian regime lied repeatedly regarding its efforts to build a nuclear arsenal.
Shapiro claimed that the Obama administration was aware of the evidence presented by Netanyahu, but believed the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was the best path to preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon for at least a decade.
“We all expected Iran to lie,” said Shapiro, “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.”
The former ambassador added that there was nothing new presented in the documents revealed by Netanyahu on Monday.
“Those who dislike the [Iran nuclear] deal believe that these documents show that it has failed. But all the information regarding the deal was already known.”
Shapiro acknowledged, however, that some of the information presented by Netanyahu may have been withheld from the public prior to the Monday night video address.
“It is possible that this is the first time that some of the information was revealed to the public, and maybe that will influence public opinion.”
Regarding the May 12th deadline President Trump has imposed for either restoring sanctions on Iran – effectively nullifying the deal – or signing an addendum to “fix the deal” by barring ballistic missile development and improving oversight, Shapiro said the president will likely nix the deal.
“I’m sure that Trump will end the agreement on May 12th.”