Israel has spied on the ongoing nuclear negotiations between world powers and Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a past meeting – Photo: Reuters
According to the report, the Obama administration was not upset by the spying itself, but rather by Israel’s sharing of secret information it obtained with U.S. lawmakers and others.
“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other,” a senior U.S. official was quoted as saying. “It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy.”
The report said the spying operation was part of a larger effort by the Israeli government to learn the details of negotiations and build a case against the emerging nuclear deal.
According to the report, the Israeli spying operation was discovered by the Obama administration when U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted communications among Israeli officials that contained details American officials believed could have been obtained only from access to the closed-door talks.
The report cited Israeli officials who denied spying directly on U.S. negotiators. The Israeli officials said information was gathered through other means, including surveillance of Iranian leaders.
“These allegations are utterly false,” a senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office told the Wall Street Journal. “The State of Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel’s other allies. The false allegations are clearly intended to undermine the strong ties between the United States and Israel and the security and intelligence relationship we share.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Army Radio on Tuesday morning, “The [Wall Street Journal] report is not accurate, to say the least. The information we obtained came from the other side, not from the U.S. We are not spying on the U.S., directly or indirectly. There is another side taking part in the negotiations, not just the world powers.”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=24373