Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2012 statement at the UN, in which he warned the world of Iran being too close to making a nuclear bomb, allegedly contradicted his country’s intelligence assessments, according to leaked spy documents.
The Mossad shared the information with South Africa’s State Security Agency a few weeks after the prime minister’s UN speech.
Netanyahu famously declared to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2012 that Iran was 70 percent of the way to completing its “plans to build a nuclear weapon,” and drew another “red line” at 90 percent, claiming Tehran’s first bomb would be ready “by next spring, at most by next summer.”
However, leaked Mossad documents suggest the country was much further from such development.
According to Spy Cables – a cache of hundreds of leaked secret intelligence papers from all over the world, published by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit in collaboration with the Guardian newspaper – at the time of Netanyahu’s statement, Israel’s intelligence service concluded that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons,” estimating that Iran had 100 kilograms of uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent.
“Even though Iran has accumulated enough 5 percent enriched uranium for several bombs, and has enriched some of it to 20 percent, it does not appear to be ready to enrich it to higher levels. It is allocating some of it to produce nuclear fuel for the TRR [Tehran Research Reactor], and the amount of 20 percent enriched uranium is therefore not increasing,” said the secret report.
In an article by Press TV, an American foreign policy analyst said that US President Barack Obama is “under pressure” to reach an agreement with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
“It’s quite obvious to everyone that Mr. Obama would like to have a deal with Iran,” said James George Jatras, a former US diplomat and adviser to the Senate Republican leadership.
“He’s under a lot of pressure to try to bring negotiations to a conclusion that he can defend domestically,” Jatras said Sunday during a phone interview with Press TV.
“I doubt very much that the United States would walk away from the negotiations because this is such a strong priority for Mr. Obama who otherwise has very little to show in the realm of foreign policy,” he added.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif began a new round of talks in Geneva on Tehran’s nuclear program on Sunday.