White House Photo, Pete Soza
Yesterday, after President Obama, French President Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave statements to reporters at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh about newly revealed evidence that Iran had a second, undeclared, nuclear facility, I asked some tough questions both here and on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com.
I wanted to know why, if intelligence agencies were aware of this second program for two years now, they waited until now to make it public. And why the International Atomic Energy Agency wasn't made aware of it so it could demand access.
A reporter asked Obama the same question directly during his afternoon news conference at the G20, and the president responded that they wanted to be perfectly certain the intel was correct before announcing it to the world.
But the McClatchy newspapers, in an analysis today, offers another possible explanation. The announcement was purposely timed, the piece says, to coincide with the United Nations Security Council meeting on non-proliferation that was chaired by Obama and with the G20.
It also, the analysis suggests, coincides with the October 1st meeting between the permanent members of the Security Council and Germany with Iran to discuss that nation's continued non-compliance.
In other words, the analysis suggests, it was not, as I had argued, a failing of the world leaders to disclose this threat before, but part of a brilliantly calculated strategy to force Iran's compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, denies that his country hid anything, protesting to CNN's Larry King that the second plant had been dutifully reported to the IAEA.