Israel Knew Iran Was Not After the Bomb

Israel Knew Iran Was Not After the Bomb   Israel Knew Iran Was Not After the Bomb

A recently leaked cable indicates Israel had been aware of the fact that Iran had not been conducting nuclear weapons-related activities when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in 2012 that Iran was a year away from making a nuclear bomb.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly in 2012, Netanyahu said Iran needed to be stopped, claiming the country could build a weapon next year. But a Mossad cable said Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons,” BBC reported on Monday. The Mossad report is part of a batch of documents leaked to al-Jazeera and shared with the Guardian.

They mainly involve exchanges between South Africa’s intelligence agency and its foreign counterparts.

In September 2012, Netanyahu addressed UN delegates carrying a sketch of a bomb. He called for the world to draw a “clear red line” over Iran’s nuclear program to make it back down.

But in the report, dated 22 October 2012, Mossad appears to take a different view. While Iran had accumulated some lower grade enriched uranium, “it does not appear to be ready to enrich it to higher levels”, the agency says, which would be required for a nuclear weapon.

“Bottom line: though Iran at this stage is not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons, it is working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment, reactors, which will reduce the time required to produce weapons from the time the instruction is actually given.”

Iran denies the allegation that it may be seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian program, saying the work is solely meant for peaceful applications, including electricity generation.  Netanyahu and Mossad have reportedly disagreed over Iran in the past.

The leak comes as Iran and the major powers try to reach a deal over Iran’s nuclear program by a June 30 deadline.