ISTANBUL (dpa) – Leaked cables purport to show that claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Iran’s uranium enrichment programme were rejected by Mossad, his own intelligence agency.
Netanyahu had claimed at the United Nations in 2012 that Iran was just one year away from making a nuclear bomb.
But the secret spy cables, which were reported Monday by the Guardian newspaper and broadcaster Al Jazeera, appear to show Mossad claiming that Iran was not enriching at levels needed to produce weapons.
The news organisations say Mossad’s assessment was shared with South Africa’s State Security Agency, from which the cables were obtained.
Netanyahu is due to address Congress on March 3 about the Iranian nuclear issue, though the invitation extended by the Republican party leadership has upset many Democrats.
President Barack Obama has said he would not meet Netanyahu so close to Israel’s election later in March.
The US is leading international negotiation efforts to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons, with the world’s six powers hoping to strike a deal in the first half of the year.
Israeli media quoted officials as saying that the cables’ content does not contradict Netanyahu’s public statements, though they did not elaborate.