A classified State Department cable sent by America’s top diplomat in Tel Aviv in 2005 warned that Israeli officials believed Iran’s progress towards a nuclear weapon was nearing the “point of no return,” echoing current U.S.-Israeli tensions regarding intelligence and policy toward Iran.
The cable describes efforts to keep Israel focused on sanctions and tough diplomacy even while “public and private speculation about possible Israeli air strikes continues.” The Israeli prime minister at the time, Ariel Sharon, called Iran “the main threat to Israel” in meetings with U.S. officials, while the head of Israel’s intelligence service described the prospect of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons an “existential threat.”
This dynamic is playing out today as well, which actually shows the farce about any supposed Iranian threat and their quest to build a nuclear weapon. U.S. intelligence has concluded that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and has demonstrated no intention of doing so, but in subservience to Israeli war-mongering U.S. officials have urged continued sanctions instead of preemptive military attack.
This makes the current debate sound redundant, but even in 2005 it had become a stale narrative. The cable notes that Israeli “assessments from 1993 predicted that Iran would possess an atomic bomb by 1998 at the latest.”
Indeed, Western assessments on Iran’s impending nuclear weapons have been wrong ever since the 1979 Iranian revolution. An Iranian nuclear weapon has always been just around the corner, making calls for war all the more constant. Only in recent years, especially after the experience in Iraq, has U.S. intelligence become firm in their assessment that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.