Australia: Iran nuclear 'deterrent', Israel could lead nuclear war

Australia sees Iran's nuclear programme as a strategy to deter foreign attacks, according to U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks.

Australia: Iran nuclear 'deterrent', Israel could lead nuclear war

Australia sees Iran's nuclear programme as a strategy to deter foreign attacks and says it would be wrong to view Iran as a "rogue state", according to U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks.

Secret cables from the US embassy in Canberra, provided exclusively to The Sydney Morning Herald by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, reveal that Australian officials raised the issue with their allies on several occasions.

Australian intelligence agencies also fear Israel may launch a military strike on Iran to knock out its nuclear facilities, which they said could lead to nuclear war, leaked US diplomatic cables showed Monday.

The documents reveal that Australia's top security organisation believes Tehran sees a "grand bargain" with the United States as its best way to ensure national security.

"The AIC's (Australian intelligence community's) leading concerns with respect to Iran's nuclear ambitions centre on understanding the timeframe of a possible weapons capability, and working with the United States to prevent Israel from independently launching uncoordinated military strikes against Iran," an embassy official wrote to Washington in March 2009.

But the Office of National Assessments (ONA) was also concerned that nuclear proliferation in the Middle East may drive Southeast Asian nations to pursue their own nuclear capabilities.

"It's a mistake to think of Iran as a 'rogue state'," then ONA chief Peter Varghese told the United States in a briefing, according to the 2008 U.S. diplomatic cables from Canberra.

The cables said the ONA sought a balanced view of Tehran as a sophisticated diplomatic player rather than one liable to behave impulsively or irrationally.

A U.S. diplomatic cable from Canberra in 2008 said the ONA believed Tehran's desire to develop nuclear weapons was probably driven by a desire to deter nuclear-armed Israel and the United States from attack rather than to launch a Middle East strike.

"ONA viewed Tehran's nuclear program within the paradigm of 'the laws of deterrence', noting that Iran's ability to produce a weapon may be enough to meet its security objectives," the U.S. embassy reported to Washington.

"The most effective means by which Tehran could ensure its national security would be a strategic relationship with the U.S. via some 'grand bargain'," said Australia's security agency.

WikiLeaks has provoked fury in Washington with its publications of secret U.S. cables and has vowed to make public details of the 250,000 secret U.S. documents it had obtained.


Agencies

Last Mod: 13 Aralık 2010, 11:04
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