Satellite image shows the nuclear facility at Bushehr, Iran
Satellite image shows the nuclear facility at Bushehr, Iran Reuters

Emails hacked by Anonymous from US intelligence-gathering firm Stratfor and published by Wikileaks suggest that rumours of a possible Israeli attack on Iran were being used by the EU as a distraction from the financial crisis.

In a series of e-mails sent on 11/7/11, Chris Farnham, senior officer for Stratfor, threw doubt on claims of an Israeli attack on Iran. The stories had been manufactured by EU leaders to divert attention from the eurozone crisis, he said.

"Ah, what? Israel has already destroyed the Iranian prog/infra and this is all being engineered by Europeans so people forget about the economy crisis?!Why is that we see the vast majority of the increase in pressure coming from Israel?

"Wouldanyone actually accept that this could let the Europeans forget about the euro crisis, something they have been experiencing every day for over a year?! Do we attribute any credibility to this item at all? I don't even see what possible disinfo purposes this could serve."

A man called Benjamin Preisler responded to the email saying a source working as an Israeli intelligence agent had confirmed it was a diversion.

"Source was asked what he thought of reports that the Israelis were preparing a military offensive against Iran.

"Response from Source: 'I think this is a diversion. The Israelis already destroyed all the Iranian nuclear infrastructure on the ground weeks ago. The current 'let's bomb Iran' campaign was ordered by the EU leaders to divert the public attention from their home financial problems. It plays also well for the US since Pakistan, Russia and N Korea are mentioned in the report, " the email explains.

Speculation about an Israeli-led attack would also benefit Tel Aviv, according to the source, as it would enable Israel to focus on targeting Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria.

"The result of this campaign will be massive attacks on Gaza and strikes on Hezbollah in both Lebanon and Syria", the email reads.