‘Spyleaks’ cables: Mossad less sure than PM on Iran’s intentions

Mossad held a view contradicting that of Prime Minister Netanyahu on Iran’s nuclear progress, even a mere month after Netanyahu’s address at the UN General Assembly where he held up a diagram of a cartoon-like bomb and marked it with red lines to show Iran’s progress toward a weapons.

Netanyahu's nuclear diagram, presented at the UN General Assembly on Thursday (photo credit: IBA screenshot)
Netanyahu’s nuclear diagram, presented at the UN General Assembly in September 2012. (photo credit: IBA screenshot)

According to secret documents that Al Jazeera claims to have acquired, Mossad sent a cable to South Africa on October 22, 2012 that laid out a “bottom line” estimate on Iran’s level of nuclear development.

While Netanyahu assessed during his address that Iran was around a year or 18 months at most from being able to make a bomb (“by next spring or next summer”), the Mossad cable to the South African intelligence agency said that the Islamic Republic’s scientists are “working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment reactors.” Such activities, however, can “reduce the time required to produce weapons from the time the instruction is actually given”.

Also among the revelations from the documents acquired by Al Jazeera: In October 2012, Mossad estimated that Iran had 100 kilograms of uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent.

Iran expanded that stockpile in 2013, but then agreed to neutralize or destroy that material under an agreement with the P5+1 group.

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