A leaked report shows that before Netanyahu’s allegations against Tehran, Mossad knew that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”
Israel has been aware that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and does not include “the activity necessary to produce weapons,” shows a leaked Mossad report, dated shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Tehran of having “plans to build a nuclear weapon” at his 2012 UN speech.
According to a secret cable, released Monday by Al Jazeera television network, the Israeli spy agency sent a top-secret cable to South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA) in October 2012 which presented a “bottom line” assessment of Iran’s nuclear work.
In the report, Mossad concluded that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”
The document, which is in stark contrast with Israel’s anti-Iran rhetoric, was sent a few weeks after the Israeli premier’s September 2012 address at the UN General Assembly in which he claimed that Iran had covered 70 percent of the way to build a nuclear weapon.
“By next spring (2013), at most by next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move[d] on to the final stage. From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb,” Netanyahu alleged at the time.
Last week, Netanyahu’s office repeated the claim in a statement that “Iran is closer than ever today to obtaining enriched material for a nuclear bomb.”
However, the leaked report said Iran “does not appear to be ready” to enrich uranium to the higher levels necessary for nuclear weapons.
The Mossad report was published ahead of Netanyahu’s planned address to the US Congress on March 3, a move strongly rejected by the Obama administration amid the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Tehran.
A similar CIA report, leaked on February 20, disclosed that Washington tried to mislead the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about Iran’s nuclear program through the provision of doctored evidence.
The Mossad and CIA’s leaked information appears to attest Iran’s argument that it is pursuing non-military goals in its nuclear program.
In addition, the IAEA has also conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.
Iran and the West have been engaged in negotiations in an effort to ink a high-profile deal over the matter as Tel Aviv continues attempts to block any agreement. The fact that Israel has been aware of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities raises doubts over the credibility of Netanyahu’s Congress speech, planned against the backdrop of a row between dominant US parties.