Israel spied on Iran nuclear talks

Israel spied on negotiations between world powers and Iran used the information it gained to influence. A senior U.S. official said 'These things leave scars,'

Israel spied on Iran nuclear talks

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Israel spied on negotiations between world powers and Iran, and used the information it gained to influence U.S. lawmakers into opposing a prospective nuclear deal, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter told the Journal.

The Journal based its report on interviews with more than a dozen former and current U.S. and Israeli diplomats, policy makers, lawmakers and intelligence officials.

“People feel personally sold out,” a senior administration official told the newspaper. “That’s where the Israelis really better be careful because a lot of these people will not only be around for this administration but possibly the next one as well.”

Israel’s subterfuge reportedly included not only spying on negotiations between the U.S., China, France, Russia, the UK, and Germany – collectively known as the P5+1 and Iran – but it also gained information through confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts.

The matter was discovered by American intelligence officers who were spying on Israel when they discovered internal communications that had details the US. believed could have come only from the closed-door talks, according to officials cited by the Journal.

The spying revelations have reportedly led senior administration officials to voice strong criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s Washington envoy Ron Dermer, who have lobbied lawmakers against a deal as far back as 2013.

“If you’re wondering whether something serious has shifted here, the answer is yes,” said a senior U.S. official, according to the Journal. “These things leave scars.”

Netanyahu further stoked the administration’s ire when he accepted an invitation from House Speaker John Boehner to address a joint meeting of Congress earlier this month. The invite was not first run by the White House, which criticized it as a breach of protocol.

As expected, Netanyahu used the speech to rally opposition to a prospective nuclear deal in spite of the administration’s ongoing efforts, saying that Iran would use an agreement to shield covert attempts to develop a bomb.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Mart 2015, 09:57