Israel is not in a position to underestimate Iran and be surprised like the
United States was on 9/11, Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, who stepped down as head of
the IDF’s Military Intelligence last week, said in a meeting in 2009 with an
The meeting with Rep. Robert Wexler
(D-Florida) took place just days before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu flew
to his first meeting with US President Barack Obama in May
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According to the cable, Yadlin told Wexler that Netanyahu had been
briefed extensively on Iran and that he appeared to be
Asked by Wexler to explain the discrepancies between Israel
and the US on the state of Iran’s nuclear program, Yadlin said that Israel
believed that while Iran had suspended its weapons program in 2003, it had been
restarted in 2005.
Yadlin said that while some in the US agreed with this
assessment, others did not.
“Iran intends to keep resolutions and
sanctions at a certain manageable level and continue to produce low-enriched
uranium until there is enough for several bombs,” Yadlin said, according to the
By the end of 2009, Military Intelligence, according to another
cable, held the view that by 2012 Iran could build one bomb within weeks or an
arsenal within half a year.
A US diplomat was quoted as questioning
whether “Israelis firmly believe this or are using worst-case estimates to raise
greater urgency from the United States.”
In a meeting in July 2009,
Pinhas Buchris, director-general of the Defense Ministry at the time, said that
all options were on the table for Israel.
During a talk with US officials
about retaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East, Buchris
that “part of his job was ensuring Israel was ready to employ such an option, no
matter how undesirable it may be.”