Reports: Netanyahu, spy agency at odds over Iran's nuclear program

(CNN)Publicly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the case in 2012 that Iran was drawing dangerously close to building a nuclear weapon.

Privately the same year, the Israeli spy agency Mossad assessed the threat as more remote, according to reports by Al Jazeera and The Guardian newspaper, which both cited leaked intelligence documents.
CNN cannot verify the authenticity of the documents nor whether there were actual differences between Netanyahu and Mossad.
A senior Israeli official responded to the reports Monday, denying any contradiction between the two apparent positions.
    "There is no contradiction whatsoever between the quotes in your story -- allegedly from Israeli intelligence -- and Prime Minister Netanyahu's declarations on the Iranian nuclear threat," the official said.
    Netanyahu spoke to the U.N. General Assembly in September 2012, calling on the world community to draw a "clear red line" to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
    He held a cartoon-like drawing of a bomb and drew a red line below the fuse.
    "In the case of Iran's nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages. ... Iran's completed the first stage ... and they're 70% of the way there," the Prime Minister said then.
    Just one month later, in a top-secret document sent to South Africa, Mossad reportedly assessed the danger as follows: "Bottom line: Though Iran at this stage is not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons, it is working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment, reactors, which will produce the time required to produce weapons from the time the instruction is actually given."
    Iran insists that like other countries, it has a right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes. Western powers have accused Iran of trying to develop not just nuclear energy but nuclear weapons as well.