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WikiLeaks: US 'urged to strike Iran'

8 years ago5.5K views

ODN

ODN


Arab rulers secretly lobbied America to launch air strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear programme, according to leaked US diplomatic cables.

Details from 250,000 leaked United States embassy cables obtained by the WikiLeaks whistleblowers website have been published by a number of newspapers given advance sight of the material, including The Guardian.

The newspaper said it would be publishing details later in the week of cables relating to the UK - including allegations of "inappropriate behaviour" by a member of the Royal Family which was said to have "startled" US diplomats.

Both the British and US governments have strongly condemned the leaks while insisting that they would not damage relations between the two countries.

The most striking of the initial disclosures is that Arab leaders have been privately urging the US to take military action to halt Iran's nuclear programme before it is too late.

The King of Bahrain was quoted as telling US diplomats that Tehran's nuclear drive "must be stopped". In another cable, he was said to have warned: "The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it".

He was said to have been backed by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who was said to have repeatedly urged Washington to "cut off the head of the snake" while there was still time.

The cables were also said include "harsh" criticism by US embassy staff of their host governments, including Russia and China, and unflattering pen portraits of world leaders.

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin is described as "alpha dog" and the cables are said to detail alleged links between the government in Moscow and organised crime.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai was said to be "driven by paranoia" while German chancellor Angela Merkel "avoids risks and is rarely creative". Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is compared to Hitler.

The White House has directed government agencies to tighten procedures for handling classified information following the mass leak.

The new procedures would ensure "that users do not have broader access than is necessary to do their jobs effectively, as well as implementation of restrictions on usage of, and removal media capabilities from, classified government directives".

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