Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Iran was in the final stages of producing a nuclear bomb was contradicted by his own secret service, leaked documents seem to reveal.
The document, one of hundreds of files obtained from many of the world's intelligence agencies and leaked to Al-Jazeera yesterday, reveals that uranium was not being used to make nuclear weapons, but was instead being used as fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) to generate energy.
In 2012, brandishing a cartoon drawing of a bomb, the Israeli Prime Minister told the United Nations General Assembly in New York that Iran was about a year away from completing the bomb.
Standing on the stage with a diagram of a clip-art style bomb, he pointed at the section labelled “2nd stage 90%” to suggest that it would soon be finished and that Israel and its allies could operate with force if necessary.
However, a month later a leaked document passed on by his intelligence agency Mossad to a South African agency states Iran is “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons” and “doesn’t appear to be ready to enrich it [uranium] to higher levels.”
A nuclear bomb requires uranium enrichment to 90%. The Mossad report states that Iran had 100 kilograms of uranium enriched to a level of 20%.
Netanyahu has since repeated his claims that Iran is planning to threaten Israel with the creation of nuclear explosives.
Reza Najafi, Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, told a news conference last year that the nuclear programme is peaceful and that it was only to produce electricity for civilians.
Netanyahu is set to address the issue as a speech to the US conference on 3 March ahead of the Israeli election two weeks later.
The TRR was given to Iran by the US in 1967 and weapon-grade uranium fuel for the reactor, however the fuel supply was stopped after the 1979 revolution.