Mossad Seemed to Differ from Netanyahu’s Assessment of Iran’s Nuclear Program
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been advocating for years that Iran is very close to developing a nuclear weapon. For example, Netanyahu spoke at the United Nations in 2012, arguing that Iran was getting closer and closer to the end stage of a nuclear weapon.
However, according to a secret cable that Al Jazeera was able to see, Al Jazeera writes that “Less than a month after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2012 warning to the UN General Assembly that Iran was 70 percent of the way to completing its “plans to build a nuclear weapon”, Israel’s intelligence service believed that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”.
Al Jazeera explains that
Writing that Iran had not begun the work needed to build any kind of nuclear weapon, the Mossad cable said the Islamic Republic’s scientists are “working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment reactors”.
Such activities, however, “will reduce the time required to produce weapons from the time the instruction is actually given”.
That view tracks with the 2012 US National Intelligence estimate, which found no evidence that Iran had thus far taken a decision to use its nuclear infrastructure to build a weapon, or that it had revived efforts to research warhead design that the US said had been shelved in 2003.
Sadly, it seems that Netanyahu continues to advocate for a hawkish policy against Iran, even though many others in Israel and elsewhere are calling for diplomacy. In fit, as Al Jazeera (2015) explains,
“Earlier in 2012, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan had hinted at a disagreement with Netanyahu. In an interview in March, he warned of overstating the danger of Iran’s nuclear activities and of putting Israel on a path to war with Iran. The spy chief said it would be a “stupid idea” to attack Iran before other options were considered. “An attack on Iran before you are exploring all other approaches is not the right way,” Dagan had said.”
Thus, it is important for the option of diplomacy to still be given sufficient support, particularly since it seems that Iran is not close to developing a weapon. Thankfully, other actors in Israel and other international actors are not agreeing with Netanyahu’s push for war with Iran, something that (as all wars do), would lead to further devastation and destabilization in the Middle East. There is a place for diplomacy in international relations, and international actors are indeed working to try to come to an agreement with regards to Iran’s nuclear program.