WASHINGTON - The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is in the dark about Israel's intentions to attack Iran over its nuclear programme, The Intercept reported, citing a top-secret report that was leaked on the Discord platform earlier this year.

The report - which was produced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on 23 February - revealed that Israeli forces carried out a major air exercise on 20 February, which was likely meant to simulate an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

It added that the "CIA does not know Israel’s near term plans and intentions," and speculated that Israeli Prime Minister "[Benjamin] Netanyahu probably calculates Israel will need to strike Iran to deter its nuclear program and faces a declining military capability to set back Iran’s enrichment program."

The report calls into question the relationship between the US and its top ally Israel.

Washington has been highly critical of Iran’s nuclear programme and has never ruled out backing an attack on Tehran’s facilities.

Several Israeli figures in recent weeks have indicated that they would support an attack on Iran.

On Tuesday, chief of Israeli forces Lieutenant-General Herzi Halevi raised the prospect of "action" against Iran. The comments prompted Israeli government officials to deny that a war against Iran or Hezbollah - a powerful Iran-backed militia in Lebanon - was imminent.