8.2 C
February 27, 2021

Ahmadinejad dismisses Wikileaks cables release

Iran’s president has dismissed as propaganda the leaking of US cables detailing Arab calls for Washington to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to BBC News. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the release by the Wikileaks website of thousands of extracts from US diplomatic messages was simply psychological warfare against Iran. He said the release would not affect Iran’s relations with other countries.

The US said the release was “reckless” and put the lives of diplomats at risk. One Republican congressman called for Wikileaks to be designated a terrorist organisation, and the US Department of Defence says it is making its computer systems more secure to prevent future leaks. The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, said the US authorities were afraid of being held to account. European nations have roundly criticised the leaks, with France saying they represent a threat to democratic authority. Pakistan’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, condemned what it called “the irresponsible disclosure of sensitive official documents”. Among the revelations is a report that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had urged the US to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. Ahmadinejad shrugged off the leaks at a televised news conference on Monday, saying no-one should waste time reviewing the information. The leaked cables written by US diplomats posted overseas contain blunt appraisals of their host governments, and unflattering pen portraits of world leaders. US officials are said to have described Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi as feckless, vain and ineffective, sharing a close relationship with the “alpha dog” Russian PMVladimir Putin. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is said to be thin-skinned and authoritarian, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is described as risk-averse.

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