WikiLeaks: Top 5 revelations

The newest release of confidential state information from WikiLeaks includes 251,287 cables from more than 250 US embassies. Here are five of the most striking revelations.

Arab allies asked US to attack Iran

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly implored Washington to “cut off the head of the snake” while there is still time, according to diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks. The United Arab Emirates’ defense chief told the US in 2005 to take action against Iran “this year or next." Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has warned the US, of Iran, "don't believe a word they say."

According to The New York Times, "the cables reveal how Iran’s ascent has unified Israel and many longtime Arab adversaries — notably the Saudis — in a common cause. Publicly, these Arab states held their tongues, for fear of a domestic uproar and the retributions of a powerful neighbor. Privately, they clamored for strong action — by someone else."

The animosity is rooted in the Muslim sectarian divide between Shiites who rule Iran and Sunnis who dominate the region. In addition, the cables say that Iran has obtained 19 North Korean BM-25 missiles with a range sufficient to hit western Europe.

The Monitor reports that Israel feels bolstered by new proof that its Arab neighbors support the hard-line approach it has long pressured the US to take. But that doesn't mean the US is now likely to push for a military option, says BBC correspondent Paul Reynolds.

"What the documents show in fact is not that the US secretly wants to go to war with Iran but that it has resisted pressure to do so from Israel and Arab leaders acting out of a coincidental common interest. This is very much in line with President Barack Obama's public diplomacy, which is to engage with Iran and, if necessary, to impose sanctions to try to get it to stop its nuclear activities. This it has done and the documents agree."

For his part, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the secret cables were purposefully released by the US government, reported the state-run Press TV.

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