The WikiLeaks publication of secret cables was not the embarrassing blow to U.S. diplomacy many people assume, but a deliberate ploy by Washington to improve its image, a senior Iranian official said.
"The WikiLeaks documents are a kind of public opinion engineering to save the catastrophic situation that the U.S. has in the eyes of world nations," state-run Press TV quoted Iran's human rights chief as saying on Sunday.
The leaking of almost quarter of a million diplomatic communications -- some with frank and unflattering descriptions of U.S. allies -- has infuriated several governments and caused Washington to review the way it shares its internal information.
But Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, said the apparent attack on U.S. secrecy was, in reality, a cunning ploy.
"They released the documents to reduce pressure exerted on them by world public opinion," Larijani said.
"There is a chance that about 10 percent of the documents -- like the ones on the embassies -- are authentic, and even those are of ordinary value and do not contain anything unusual."
Some documents aimed to show U.S. forces in Iraq were not personally involved in torture, he said. "We know that Americans, themselves, kill Iraqis. They enter homes of the innocent Iraqi people and slaughter them."
Iran itself is the subject of many of the cables, including several in which U.S. diplomats report that its Gulf Arab neighbours urged Washington to use force if necessary to stop Tehran getting atomic weapons.