Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim in 2012 that Iran was a year away from making a nuclear bomb was contradicted by his own intelligence agency, according to top-secret Mossad documents obtained by Al Jazeera and shared with The Guardian. Netanyahu had warned the United Nations General Assembly in September 2012 that Iran had completed 70 percent of its "plans to build a nuclear weapon."
In 2012, Netanyahu had also declared that Tehran's first nuclear bomb would be ready "by next spring, at most by next summer." However, in a secret cable sent to South Africa’s State Security Agency in October 2012, Mossad reportedly said that Iran had not begun the work needed to build any kind of nuclear weapon and that there were no indications to show that it was "performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”
"Even though Iran has accumulated enough 5 percent enriched uranium for several bombs, and has enriched some of it to 20 percent, it does not appear to be ready to enrich it to higher levels. It is allocating some of it to produce nuclear fuel for the TRR [Tehran Research Reactor], and the amount of 20 percent enriched uranium is therefore not increasing," Mossad reportedly wrote in the cables.
"Though Iran at this stage is not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons, it is working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment reactors, which will reduce the time required to produce weapons from the time the instruction is actually given,” Mossad reportedly claimed.
However, the Israeli intelligence agency also said that the lack of a reprocessing plant in Iran meant that it could not use the plutonium produced to build weapons, Al Jazeera reported.
The reports come just days ahead of Netanyahu's planned speech at the U.S. Congress, where he is expected to speak out against the ongoing nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and Iran.