A release of top-secret documents indicates that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has exaggerated – and possibly lied – with his repeated claims that Iran is on the brink of a nuclear bomb.
In September 2012, Netanyahu, armed with a cartoon, put it very bluntly at the UN General Assembly:
By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, [Iran] will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
However, as Netanyahu spoke, his military and intelligence services were assessing that Tehran was not enriching uranium to a level beyond that needed for a civil programme. They conclude: “Iran at this stage is not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”