The US has condemned the release of more than 250,000 secret dispatches revealing military strategies and diplomatic communications on the controversial Wikileaks website.

Among the leaks, revealed in a number of US diplomatic messages obtained by the site, are statements from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah urging the US to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities and US officials labelling Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as “feckless, vain and ineffective”.

The leaked documents also contained US and UK concerns that Pakistani nuclear material could fall into the hands of militants, enabling them to construct nuclear weapons.

While the White House labelled the release as “reckless”, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said US authorities were afraid of being held to account.

The UK and Australian Foreign Offices joined the US condemnation of the leaks, labelling them as potentially dangerous to national security, while Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini labelled the release as the “September 11 of world diplomacy”. Australian police are currently investigating whether any laws were broken in the release.

House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee member Peter King said: “The latest release manifests Mr Assange’s purposeful intent to damage not only our national interests in fighting the war on terror, but also undermines the very safety of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

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Other leaks include Iranian attempts to acquire North Korean rockets, Germany being warned not to enforce arrest warrants for CIA officers, alleged links between the Russian government and organised crime, and US officials being instructed to spy on Hillary Clinton’s UN leadership.