President Obama's decision to confront Iran with evidence of a secret nuclear production site Friday was the culmination of a deliberate strategy over the past nine months to gain maximum impact from the disclosure by building up to it with other steps on the world stage, the Washington Times reported.
A high-ranking administration official told The Washington Times that while the White House knew about Iran's construction of a second uranium enrichment plant before Obama took office in January, it waited to drop the bombshell until U.S. officials had conducted extensive diplomatic advance work.
The preparations go back to Obama's inaugural promise to engage in meaningful dialogue with Iran to two letters he sent to Iran's supreme leader, which led to Tehran's agreeing to sit down with negotiators from the U.S. and other world powers on Oct. 1. Obama has lobbied or spoken to key leaders for months, including Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Last week the White House scrapped a missile defense plan that had infuriated Russia, smoothing the way for closer cooperation. That was followed by a progression of moves that played out at the United Nations. Obama gave a broad speech to the General Assembly that included an appeal to strengthen the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He then bolstered the treaty procedurally with the passage of a Security Council resolution at a meeting he chaired, the first U.S. president to do so.
"It's important to see what happened today building on what happened in New York," Obama said at a press conference to close out the week, adding that his overall strategy to keep an open hand toward Iran had succeeded in isolating Tehran on the world stage.