Iran not a rogue state: Aus­tralia

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

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

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