Dagan. Suggested minority groups
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Mubarak: Iran existential threat
Photo: AP
Netanyahu. US source
Photo: Dudu Azoulay

WikiLeaks: Red Crescent smuggled weapons for Iran

Various secret documents released on Iran, showing Mossad chief wanted to enlist Iranian opposition groups to revolt against government while Arab leaders, including Mubarak, asked US to stop nuclear program with military strike

Secret documents leaked by the controversial Web entity WikiLeaks say Iran used ambulances to smuggle weapons into Lebanon during Hezbollah's 2006 war with Israel. 


Additional documents exposed Sunday say Mossad chief Meir Dagan suggested the US make use of local fringe groups to try and topple the Iranian regime.



Other documents show that Iran had acquired far more advanced missiles than the US had previously supposed it had in its arsenal.


According to a memo from August 2007, Dagan described to Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns the five pillars of Israel's Iran policy, among them the desire to spark a revolution.


The memo says Dagan wanted to enlist the student unions supporting democratic views in order to undermine the government's rule, the British Guardian reported Sunday.


The Mossad chief also wanted to enlist local ethnic minorities to the task, including the Kurds and Balochis. These groups – especially the Balochis – have carried out terror attacks in Tehran for which the Islamic Republic has consistently blamed Israel.


'Ambulances used to smuggle weapons'

Other documents say Iran used Red Crescent ambulances to smuggle intelligence agents and weapons into Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.


According to the British Guardian, an Iranian source told US diplomats that the ambulance crews helped Revolutionary Guards officers infiltrate other states in the region as well, including Iraq. The Red Crescent has denied the reports.


The source, who is affiliated with the Red Crescent, told the Americans that Iranian secret agents sent aid to Hezbollah in this manner which was military, not medical. Special agents from elite units were smuggled into the country thus.


The medical supplies, the documents quote him as saying, were just a cover for weapons, some of which included missiles smuggled on airplanes. The source said he had seen one plane more than half full of weapons before the medical supplies were placed on board.


'Biggest threat since Cuban missile crisis'

WikiLeaks also revealed Sunday that Arab nations supported a military strike on Iran in order to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons, the Guardian reported.


The secret documents show that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak agreed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said a nuclear Iran would lead to an arms race in the Middle East.


Netanyahu, who was the source that informed the US of the proceedings, said Mubarak had agreed that a nuclear Iran would constitute the largest threat since the Cuban missile crisis.


The documents further describe Israeli fears. According to the documents published by the Guardian, Defense Minister Ehud Barak estimated in June of 2009 that there was a 6-18 month window of opportunity to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.


"After that, Barak said, 'any military solution would result in unacceptable collateral damage'," the Guardian reported.


"Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, warned in February that if diplomatic efforts failed, 'we risk nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, war prompted by an Israeli strike, or both'," according to the report.


"Major General Amos Yadlin, Israeli's military intelligence chief, warned last year: 'Israel is not in a position to underestimate Iran and be surprised like the US was on 11 September 2001'."


'N.Korea sold Iran advanced missiles'

Another memo, from November 18, 2009, just a short while after the discovery of Iran's nuclear facility in Qom, documents a meeting between US and Israeli officials.


The officials discussed arming Israel with penetrating bombs of the GBU-28 type covertly, in order to avoid accusations that the US was assisting the state in orchestrating a strike on Iran.


A diplomatic correspondence from February 24 of this year says Iran had acquired 19 North Korean missiles based on Russian technology, and which US officials feared were more advanced than they had previously assumed.


The missiles have a range reaching as far as Moscow as well as a number of Western European capital cities, and the officials warned that their technology could speed up the development of ballistic missiles.


Since 2006 defense experts have been speculating that North Korea had sold Iran missiles based on the Russian E-27, previously placed on Soviet submarines and armed with nuclear warheads.


'Netanyahu charming, but doesn't keep promises'

Saudi King Abdullah and other Arab leaders asked the US to stop Iran's nuclear program, according to the secret files, by attacking Iran's nuclear facilities if necessary.


The leaders of Jordan and Bahrain called on the US to put a stop to the program, even if it means using military means, the files say.


"Leaders in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt referred to Iran as 'evil', an 'existential threat' and a power that 'is going to take us to war', the Guardian reported.


Netanyahu, who was mentioned in numerous WikiLeaks documents, also received some bad press in a cable sent from Cairo.


Netanyahu is "elegant and charming", according to the cable apparently penned by an official at the US embassy in Egypt, but never keeps his promises.


The cable, which was sent after a meeting between Netanyahu and Mubarak, said the latter had "personally" told the prime minister this.



פרסום ראשון: 11.28.10, 21:12
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