WikiLeaks: '2010 will be a critical year on Iranian threat'

Flood of new leaked diplomatic cables reveal more Israeli warnings on Iranian nuclear progress, gov't concerns on dual citizenship with "respect to access to sensitive technology."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 20, 2010 13:36
3 minute read.
Qom nuclear facility iran 298 ap

Qom nuclear facility iran 298 ap. (photo credit: )

 
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Israel predicted that that 2010 would be "a critical year" in terms of the Iranian nuclear threat, according to a diplomatic cable leaked by WikiLeaks on Sunday.

The document, which summarizes a meeting of the 40th joint political-military group from November 11, 2009, cited Israeli concerns that "if the Iranians continue to protect and harden their nuclear sites, it will be more difficult to target and damage them."

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The cable also revealed that Israel had raised concerns about dual citizenship with "respect to access to sensitive technology," and that the government had "recommended obtaining a waiver similar to the relationship from which Canada or Australia benefit."

Defense Ministry Dir.-Gen. Pinhas Buchris and Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad were both present at the meeting along with a number of other Israeli officials.

US participants acknowledged Israeli concerns, noting that the issue was being worked at the highest levels of the US government to reach consensus on how to proceed.

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The same document discusses how Israel raised concern that the Government of Turkey was leaning toward Syria and Iran, and away from Israel.

Israeli participants argued that Turkey has been supportive of Hamas in Gaza while pursuing a more "Islamic" direction with the goal of becoming a regional superpower.

The document revealed that US and Israeli counterparts continued discussion on the creation of four new Qualitative Military Edge (QME) working groups.

Both sides presented their primary points of  contact for the four newly proposed working groups focusing on previous agreements, mitigation measures for the F-15 sale to Saudi Arabia.

Iranian sanctions were also discussed and the cable revealed that the Israeli government officials expressed concern regarding Chinese and Russian cooperation with respect to enhanced Iranian sanctions.

Another released Wikileaks cable from June 2007 revealed Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin's assessments of the current situation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

He painted a picture of "a desperate, disorganized, and demoralized Fatah in the Gaza Strip, versus a well-organized and ascendant Hamas."

Diskin said the situation in the West Bank was "comparatively better," and said the level of cooperation that the Shin Bet receives from the Palestinian security services operating in the West Bank had improved.

However, he expressed concerns over what he characterized as "a crisis of leadership in Fatah, with PA President Abbas already focusing on his retirement, and his possible successors incapable of leading the Palestinians in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

"Diskin said that Fatah is on its 'last legs,' and that the situation bodes ill for Israel," the cable read.

In another cable released Monday, it was revealed that during a 2007 June 12 meeting with US Ambassador to Israel Richard H. Jones, then-head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin said that Gaza was "number four" on his list of threats, preceded by Iran, Syria, and Hizbullah in that order.

Yadlin said military intelligence had been predicting armed confrontation in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah since Hamas won the January 2006 legislative council elections, the cable revealed.

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