Netanyahu weighs lie-detector test for ministers after Iran leak
TEL AVIV -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have his ministers undergo a lie-detector test, Israeli newspapers reported Thursday, after a member of his security cabinet leaked details of a classified briefing on Iran.
An official told dpa on Thursday that Netanyahu was "angry" about the leak. But he would not comment on the reports that the premier was considering the polygraph tests.
Netanyahu adjourned the security cabinet session Wednesday, slamming the leak.
The security cabinet met Tuesday for seven hours to hear an annual intelligence assessment on the security challenges faced by Israel, including Iran's alleged progress towards a nuclear weapon.
It should have lasted at least two days, the official told dpa on condition of anonymity.
Yediot Ahronot, Israel's biggest-selling daily, Wednesday quoted a source who participated in the meeting as saying that Israel's intelligence organizations disagree about the point in time, after which an Israeli airstrike on Iran's nuclear sites would no longer be effective and cause meaningful damage.
"We heard detailed, disturbing and extremely worrying information regarding the progress of Iran's nuclear programme," the source told the daily. "The Iranians are racing towards a bomb, and it seems as if nothing is stopping them."
The briefing was given by military intelligence and the Mossad and Shin Bet external and internal security organizations.
The security cabinet is a forum of 14 senior ministers, including the prime minister, and four observers. The government's legal and national security advisers are also allowed to attend.
Condemning the leak, Netanyahu said Wednesday: "Something grave occurred."
"Someone yesterday grievously violated the trust that Israel's citizens bestow on this forum ... He also besmirched the good name of those present at the meeting, who did not leak its contents."
Israel's security "depends on a capacity to hold confidential and thorough deliberations in the diplomatic-security cabinet," he said.
One government official told the Ma'ariv daily Thursday it was not so much a matter of what was leaked, but the principle. He also noted the sensitive timing, at the height of the debate over whether Israel should attack Iran alone.
Some newspaper commentators charged that Netanyahu's move was a public relations stunt aimed at showing leadership, or at creating a pretext to move the decision making on Iran to a smaller forum. dpa ok ar Author: Ofira Koopmans
Distributed by MCT Information Services