TEL AVIV – The trove of secret documents presented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly shows that “Iran lied” and its nuclear capabilities were “far more advanced and further along” than thought before the signing of the nuclear deal, the White House said Tuesday.
“The problem is that the deal was made on a completely false pretense: Iran lied on the front end,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “They were dishonest actors. The deal that was made was made on things that weren’t accurate. We have a big problem with that, particularly the fact that Iran’s nuclear capabilities were far more advanced and more further along than they ever indicated.”
“The United States is aware of the information just released by Israel and continues to examine it carefully,” the White House said.
The comments follow an earlier statement Monday, which said the trove “provides new and compelling details about Iran’s efforts to develop missile-deliverable nuclear weapons. These facts are 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 from its own people.
“The Iranian regime has shown it will use destructive weapons against its neighbors and others. Iran must never have nuclear weapons.”
Secretary of State and former director of the CIA Mike Pompeo vouched for the veracity of the documents and added that the majority of the information provided about Iran’s nuclear program was new to U.S. experts.
“We’ve known about this material for a while and we certainly discussed this material yesterday when we were together,” Pompeo told reporters on his plane.
“It’s been something that’s been in the works for a while. I know that there are people talking about these documents not being authentic. I can confirm with you, for you, that these documents are real, they are authentic.”
According to Pompeo, the nuclear program known as Project Amad ended roughly in December 2003-January 2004.
“It’s accurate to say that the knowledge of that, the fact of that, has been known for quite some time, but there are thousands of new documents and new information,” Pompeo said. “We’re still going through it, there’s still a lot of work to do to figure out the scope and scale of it, but it is the case that there is new information about that program.”
Also on Monday, President Donald Trump said the trove “has really shown that I’ve been 100 percent right.”
“That is just not an acceptable situation and I’ve been saying that’s happening,” he added. “They’re not sitting back idly. They’re setting off missiles, which they say are for television purposes? I don’t think so.”
He wouldn’t confirm whether the U.S. would withdraw from the nuclear agreement next week, saying only, “We’ll see what happens.”
“I’m not telling you what I’m doing, but a lot of people think they know. On or before the 12th, we’ll make a decision. That doesn’t mean we won’t negotiate a real agreement. You know, this is an agreement that wasn’t approved by too many people, and it’s a horrible agreement for the United States, including the fact … that we gave Iran $150 billion and $1.8 billion in cash.
“You know what we got?” Trump went on. “We got nothing. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t negotiate a new agreement, we’ll see what happens.”