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WikiLeaks U.S. Embassy Cables: New Documents Released

AP/The Huffington Post First Posted: 11-28-10 01:36 PM   |   Updated: 11-28-10 03:19 PM

This article is being updated.

WASHINGTON — The New York Times and The Guardian have published a selection of the 250,000 classified State Department documents provided to them by the online website WikiLeaks. The WikiLeaks website appeared to be inaccessible, and WikiLeaks said in its Twitter feed that it was experiencing a denial of service attack. WikiLeaks also provided the documents to Spain’s El Pais, France’s Le Monde, and Germany’s Der Spiegel.

According to The New York Times, the cables reveal how foreign leaders, including Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, urged the U.S. to confront Iran over its nuclear program.

“The cables also contain a fresh American intelligence assessment of Iran’s missile program,” The Times reports. “They reveal for the first time that the United States believes that Iran has obtained advanced missiles from North Korea that could let it strike at Western European capitals and Moscow and help it develop more formidable long-range ballistic missiles.”

Haaretz reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to pressure the U.S. into military action against Iran by exaggerating its nuclear capabilities:

Meanwhile, another cable shows that a 2009 claim by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran was months away from achieving military nuclear capability was dismissed by the Americans as a ploy.According to German weekly Der Spiegel, which also received advance information from WIkiLeaks, a State Department official says in a classified cable that Netanyahu informed the United States of Iran’s nuclear advancement in November 2009, but that the prime minister’s estimate was likely unfounded and intended to pressure Washington into action against the Islamic Republic.

Perhaps more embarrassing to U.S. officials is the revelation, according to The Guardian that U.S. diplomats spied on UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

A classified directive which appears to blur the line between diplomacy and spying was issued to US diplomats under Hillary Clinton’s name in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks for official communications.

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