NY Times: European officials admit US asked them to limit reports to Israel on Iran talks

US officials are neither being honest or transparent about P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran and have launched campaign to discredit Natanyahu for exposing truth in upcoming Congressional address.

By i24news


Last week, Israel’s Channel 2 TV News aired a dramatic announcement, saying top US officials had stopped updating Israel about the status of the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran.

Wendy Sherman No. 2 US diplomat – US Mission in Geneva

The US State Department quickly denied the report, saying it continues to regularly update Israel regarding developments in the talks.

The White House also called the report “patently false. National Security Adviser (Susan) Rice maintains regular contact with her Israeli counterpart, National Security Adviser Cohen on the full range of issues of mutual concern to our nations, and will in fact meet with him later this week at the White House.”

But European officials have told The New York Times that there was more than a grain of truth in the Israeli report. One official said Wendy Sherman, the No. 3 State Department official and lead American negotiator with Iran, had cautioned European allies against telling the Israelis too much because the details could be twisted to undermine a deal, especially at a sensitive time of election campaigning in Israel and in light of the disagreement between the two countries over the deal with Iran.

Sherman did not respond to an email inquiry from The Times, but a State Department official speaking on her behalf said that she had encouraged the Europeans to talk with Israel — as long as they were cognizant “that the negotiation should take place in the negotiating room.”

Marie Harf, the deputy State Department spokeswoman, said that Sherman would also be seeing Cohen this week.

Another European official said Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been engaging in the negotiations with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammed Javad Zarif, every two weeks or so, was “fuming about Israeli leaks.”

The Times report also quoted an Israeli official as complaining that “we get briefings, but they are empty.”

According to one American official, the concern is that Israeli officials, mindful that they are talking to audiences at home, in the United States and particularly in Congress, know how to pick out one or two details from the negotiations, which are purportedly harmful to Israel, without revealing the broader context.

“They tell part of the story, like how many centrifuges we might consider letting the Iranians hold,” one American official said. “What they don’t tell you is that we only let them have that many centrifuges if they ship most of their fuel out of the country.”

The Israelis say President Barack Obama has regularly frozen them out, starting with the secret round of negotiations with the government of President Hassan Rouhani that brought about the present talks. “It makes us question in Israel, are they open with us or are they trying to hide from us?” Gen. Yaakov Amidror, Israel’s former national security adviser, said Tuesday, arguing that trust between the allies had been badly damaged.


View original i24news publication at: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/61534-150218-ny-times-us-asked-europe-to-limit-reports-to-israel-on-iran-talks


Snippet of Rudy Giuliani speech at the Iranian-American Community symposium “Countering Islamic Fundamentalism, and a Nuclear-Armed Iran,” February 13, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona. – Source: elderofziyon