Leak Forced Obama's Hand on Iran Nukes

By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2009 7:21 AM CDT
President Obama, flanked by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, speaks on Iran's nuclear facility, Friday, Sept. 25, 2009, at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – Yesterday's surprise announcement at the G20 summit of the existence of a hidden Iranian nuclear enrichment facility wasn't the way President Obama planned to handle the information, Politico reports. His hand was forced by a reporter who learned of a letter in which Iran notified the UN's nuclear watchdog agency in Vienna of the previously undisclosed site under construction since 2005 in a mountain near Qom.


AP reporter George Jahn broke the story yesterday morning, but he is thought to have tipped off western officials to its existence earlier, prompting Obama to share the information with heads of state in Pittsburgh, and go public. He'd have preferred to keep the information private ahead of next week's international talks with Iran. "We would have been better off not announcing and keeping it as leverage and a way to see if the Iranians kept their word in a future deal,” an analyst tells Politico.