(MintPress)—Correspondence between several Stratfor intelligence analysts suggesting that Israel may have already destroyed Iran’s nuclear capabilities has emerged among over 5 million company e-mails recently released by WikiLeaks. According to an e-mail thread from November 2011, a Stratfor source reported that, “Israeli commandos in collaboration with Kurd forces destroyed few underground facilities mainly used for the […]
(MintPress)—Correspondence between several Stratfor intelligence analysts suggesting that Israel may have already destroyed Iran’s nuclear capabilities has emerged among over 5 million company e-mails recently released by WikiLeaks.
According to an e-mail thread from November 2011, a Stratfor source reported that, “Israeli commandos in collaboration with Kurd forces destroyed few underground facilities mainly used for the Iranian defense and nuclear research projects.”
The source continued to say, “Even if the Israelis have the capabilities and are ready to attack by air, sea and land, there is no need to attack the nuclear program at this point after the commandos destroyed a significant part of it.”
Chris Farnham, Senior Watch Officer at Stratfor, was skeptical of the source, asking questions such as, “How and when did the Israelis destroy the infra on the ground?” and “Do we attribute any credibility to this item at all?”
The emails did not specify which specific infrastructure was hit or how the attacks occurred. However, Stratfor analysts did discuss the likelihood and reasoning behind such an attack throughout the dialogue.
The correspondence between Stratfor employees, dated November 14th, came one day after a suspicious explosion killed 17 people, including Revolutionary Guard commander and missile expert, General Hasan Moghaddam, and left 15 others wounded at an ammunition depot near Tehran.
“I don’t know the extent of the explosion,” said Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak. “But it would be desirable if they multiply.”
History of Covert Attacks in Iran
There is a clear history of covert attacks between Israel and Iran, which have recently picked up steam after a November IAEA report revealed that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”
Fred Burton, Stratfor’s VP of intelligence said, “If we think the Izzies [Israelis] have set back waiting on Iran to create a bomb we are like the CIA with their inability to predict just about anything.”
Stratfor tactical analyst, Sean Noonan, pointed out the covert nature of Israeli attacks, which if true, is most likely behind the alleged nuclear facility destruction. According to Noonan, “There are enough Iranians who have aliyah’d [immigrated] to Israel that they could easily train a Persian looking, Farsi speaking Jew to go into Iran for sabotage and not get caught…This was clearly done with Stuxnet.”
Kamran Bokhari, Toronto-based VP of Middle Eastern & South Asian Affairs for Stratfor, reiterated to Noonan that the Stuxnet computer virus that hit Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2010 followed a completely different set of capabilities than blasting a major military installation.
However, just one day before the e-mail thread occurred, Iranian officials announced it had been hit by the Duqu virus, the third cyber attack to hit Iran in the past few years, based off the same Stuxnet virus that is believed to have destroyed nearly one-fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges.
Why the continued Sabre-Rattling?
When asked on his thoughts of reports that Israel is preparing to attack Iran, Stratfor’s source, a confirmed Israeli intelligence agent, allegedly told Stratfor analysts, “I think this is a diversion. The current ‘let’s bomb Iran’ campaign was ordered by the EU leaders to divert the public attention away from their at home financial problems.”
The Israeli intelligence agent also believes that the sabre-rattling benefits the US because of the interests that Russia, Pakistan, and N. Korea have in the stability of Iran.
Stratfor’s source reported that, “If a massive attack on Iran happens soon, then the attack will have political and oil reasons and not nuclear.” The source believes that a direct conflict between Iran and Israel will be beneficial to the oil industry in Russia and Saudi Arabia but will negatively impact China and Europe.
Instead, the agent believes Israel’s aggressive campaign against Iran will end with attacks on Iranian proxies in Gaza and Lebanon. But, the source said, if Israel does attack Iran, it “will last only 48 hours but will be so destructive that Iran will be unable to retaliate or recover and the government will fall.”
Stratfor has not confirmed the information released by WikiLeaks. The company said in a statement on Monday in response to the leaked documents, “Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic. We will not validate either.”