Israel ruled out Iran strike in 2005: WikiLeaks

Israeli defence officials ruled out a strike on Iran`s nuclear facilities as early as 2005.

Last Updated: Apr 10, 2011, 23:59 PM IST

Jerusalem: Israeli defence officials
ruled out a strike on Iran`s nuclear facilities as early as
2005, US diplomatic cables leaked to whistleblower site
WikiLeaks show, an Israeli newspaper said on Sunday.

The documents given to the Haaretz newspaper by
WikiLeaks detail conversations between US diplomats and
Israeli defence officials, which suggested the Jewish state
did not plan to target Iran`s controversial nuclear programme.

One December 2005 cable said Israeli officials had
indicated there was "no chance of a military attack being
carried out on Iran," Haaretz reported.

Another telegram a month later, detailing talks
between a US congressman and the then deputy chief of Israel`s
Atomic Energy Commission, offered a stronger suggestion that
Israel considered a strike on Iran`s facilities unfeasible.

Deputy chief Ariel Levite "said that most Israeli
officials do not believe a military solution is possible,"
Haaretz quoted the telegram as saying.

"They believe Iran has learned from Israel`s attack on
Iraq`s Osirak reactor (in 1981) and has dispersed the
components of its nuclear programme throughout Iran, with some
elements in places that Israel does not know about."

Israel, which has the Middle East`s sole if undeclared
nuclear arsenal, regards Iran as its number one enemy after
repeated predictions by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the
Jewish state is doomed to collapse.

Along with much of the international community, Israel
accuses Iran of using its nuclear energy programme to mask a
weapons drive. Iran denies the charge, saying the programme is
purely for civilian energy and medical purposes.

PTI