Iran not a rogue state: Australia
SYDNEY: Australia is at odds with its major security ally the United States over Iran, saying it is not a "rogue state" and its nuclear weapons program is for deterrence, not attack, according to U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks.
The documents, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, also reveal that Australia's top security organization believes Tehran sees a "grand bargain" with the United States as its best way to ensure national security.
But the Office of National Assessments ( ONA) shared Washington's fears that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons could lead to conventional or nuclear war, noting a conflict between Israel and Iran was the greatest challenge to Middle East stability.
The ONA was also concerned that nuclear proliferation in the Middle East may drive Southeast Asian nations to pursue their own nuclear capabilities.
"It's a mistake to think of Iran as a ' rogue state'," then ONA chief Peter Varghese told the United States in a briefing, according to the 2008 U.S. diplomatic cables from Canberra.
The cables said the ONA sought a balanced view of Tehran as a sophisticated diplomatic player rather than one liable to behave impulsively or irrationally. -Reuters