Netanyahu ‘misled’ world on Iran’s nuclear program – cables

Israel concluded in 2012 that Iran had not carried out the activities necessary to produce nuclear weapons, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned the world weeks earlier that Iran was months away from obtaining such weapons, Al Jazeera reported on Monday.

The report was based on a top-secret cable sent to South Africa by Israel’s Mossad intelligence service in October 2012 that laid out a “bottom line” assessment of Iran’s nuclear work. The cable was one of hundreds of classified intelligence documents obtained by Al Jazeera.

According to the assessment, Mossad believed that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons,” and added that Iran was working to “close gaps in areas that appear legitimate,” which would reduce the time required to produce weapons from the time the instruction is actually given.

That assessment strongly contradicts Netanyahu’s speech at the UN General Assembly less than a month earlier, claiming that Iran was just a few months away from getting enough enriched uranium for the first bomb. As the assessment was dated October 2012, it is unknown whether the assessment is still accurate.

Iran and the 5+1 group, which includes the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany, have been negotiating over the past few years over Tehran's nuclear program. The Iranian government has repeatedly stated that its nuclear program is for the peaceful purpose of providing energy, but many countries contend that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

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