SYDNEY (Reuters/AFP) - Australia is at odds with its major security ally the US over Iran, saying it is not a rogue state and its nuclear weapons programme is for deterrence, not attack, according to US cables released by WikiLeaks. The documents, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, also reveal that Australias top security organisation believes Tehran sees a grand bargain with the US as its best way to ensure national security. But the Office of National Assessments (ONA) shared Washingtons fears that Irans pursuit of nuclear weapons could lead to conventional or nuclear war, noting a conflict between Israel and Iran was the greatest challenge to Middle East stability. The ONA was also concerned that nuclear proliferation in the Middle East may drive Southeast Asian nations to pursue their own nuclear capabilities. Its a mistake to think of Iran as a 'rogue state, then ONA chief Peter Varghese told the US in a briefing, according to the 2008 US diplomatic cables from Canberra. The cables said the ONA sought a balanced view of Tehran as a sophisticated diplomatic player rather than one liable to behave impulsively or irrationally. According to cables, the Australian intelligence agencies fear Israel may launch a military strike on Iran to knock out its nuclear facilities, which they said could lead to nuclear war, leaked US diplomatic cables showed Monday. The documents reveal that Australian officials raised the issue with their allies on several occasions. The AICs (Australian intelligence communitys) leading concerns with respect to Irans nuclear ambitions centre on understanding the timeframe of a possible weapons capability, and working with the US to prevent Israel from independently launching uncoordinated military strikes against Iran, an US embassy official wrote to Washington in March 2009. They are immediately concerned that Irans pursuit of nuclear capabilities would lead to a conventional war - or even nuclear exchange - in the Middle East involving the US that would draw Australia into a conflict. Another cable sent four months earlier reported on Australian concerns about a unilateral Israeli military strike against Iran and the likelihood of an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. A US diplomatic cable from Canberra in 2008 said the ONA believed Tehrans desire to develop nuclear weapons was probably driven by a desire to deter Israel and the US from attack rather than to launch a Middle East strike. ONA viewed Tehrans nuclear programme within the paradigm of 'the laws of deterrence, noting that Irans ability to produce a weapon may be 'enough to meet its security objectives, the US embassy reported to Washington. Nevertheless, Australian intelligence viewed Tehrans pursuit of full self-sufficiency in the nuclear fuel cycle, long-standing covert weapons programme, and continued work on delivery systems as strong indicators that Tehrans preferred end state included a nuclear arsenal. The ONA believed Irans acquisition of nuclear weapons as inevitable and the Australian government was concerned that such a move could see nuclear proliferation in Southeast Asia. A US embassy report in March 2009 told Washington that Australia was concerned about the potential for renewed nuclear proliferation in the Middle East driving Southeast Asian states to abandon the (nuclear non-proliferation treaty) and pursue their own nuclear capabilities, which could introduce a direct threat to the Australian homeland. But Australian intelligence analysts believe that 20 years of hostility (towards Washington) and associated rhetoric aside, (Tehran) regime attitudes have fairly shallow roots. The most effective means by which Tehran could ensure its national security would be a strategic relationship with the US via some 'grand bargain, said Australias security agency. The correspondence shows that the Australian government, under both former prime minister Kevin Rudd and his successor Julia Gillard, is generally supportive of Israel. But they say that Rudds previous strong condemnation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had prompted Tehran to take retaliatory measures against the Australian Embassy in Iran. The newspaper did not detail these measures but said they made it harder for officials to conduct day-to-day business. According to one cable, Rudd told Israeli Ambassador to Australia Yuval Rotem that Ahmadinejad was a loathsome individual on every level, adding that his anti-Semitism turns my stomach.