Israel had plans of spreading rumors about a leak that it would use a military base in Saudi Arabia to strike Iran as one of its effors to counter Iran's nuclear buildup, according to th latest Wikileaks tranche of emails released Saturday.
A July 2012 correspondence between a former adviser and then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton cited Israeli officials as saying that while Israel was unprepared for a full-scale war with Iran, rumors of an IDF strike could “persuade the world they mean business.” The Times of Israel reported Sunday.
“At present, considering that Israel is not prepared for an all-out war with Iran, they may well continue to threaten action, giving the impression they are serious about pursuing aggressive Iranian anti-nuclear efforts,” Sidney Blumenthal wrote in a July 24 email.
“One way to do that is to update weapon systems; secure an air base in Saudi Arabia that would suggest a staging ground for an eventual attack, then ‘leak’ the word to the media that that there are eminent plans to carry out a bombing raid and do everything possible to persuade the world they mean business,” the unnamed Israeli official was quoted as saying.
The email also cited a number of other European and Turkish security and intelligence officials who expressed concern that any Israeli military action against Iran would instantly ignite an all out war in the Middle East, including extensive retaliation against the Jewish state from its Arab neighbors.
Senior Turkish military commanders advised that a regional war would begin “before the first Israel air-strike sortie has returned to base,” and estimated that Hezbollah fighters in Syria and Lebanon had access to upwards of 200,000 surface-to-surface rockets and missiles.
The Western European intelligence services were also worried over a potential Israeli strike, and warned their respective heads of state that in such an event, Israel would be scapegoated for the fallout and would be the target of thousands of missiles and rockets launched from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and the Gaza Strip.
“Such an attack may lead to further deterioration in the world economy, which would in turn be blamed on Israel,” European leaders were told in intelligence reports by their respective agencies, according to the email.