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Israel US Spy
Netanyahu addresses Congress

Prime Minister Netanyahu receives standing ovation at US Congress on March 03, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO)

US intelligence claims that Israel spied on the US to get details on the Iran nuclear negotiations. The information obtained by the Americans however, could have only been discovered – by spying on Israel. 

US intelligence agencies have reportedly discovered that Israeli intelligence has been spying on the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Israel denies the allegations, which include the claim that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed sensitive information during his address to Congress.

The Obama administration began limiting information-sharing with Israel after the latter objected publicly to the concessions made by the P5+1.

“It is one thing for the US and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal US secrets and play them back to US legislators to undermine US diplomacy,” a senior American official told the Wall Street Journal. According to the report, US intelligence agencies concluded that Israel was spying on them after their own spies noticed information in Israeli intelligence communications that could have been discovered only through espionage.

Israel Denies Allegations

Nonetheless, Israel claims that its information did not come from direct espionage on the US, but from monitoring communications with other parties, including Iran. An official in the Prime Minister’s Office said, “These allegations are utterly false. 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.”

Despite promises to keep Israel fully apprised of progress in the nuclear negotiations with Iran, the US has admitted to concealing information for fear of leaks. In February, spokespersons for both the White House and the State Department confirmed that details of the negotiations were being kept secret after Israel expressed alarm at the concessions being made to Iran. Israel was also blindsided in 2012 when it became public that the Obama administration was in secret talks with Iran.

As the March 31 deadline for a draft nuclear agreement with Iran nears, Israel has been increasingly relying on France rather than the US to ensure that if a deal is reached, it is one that effectively prevents the Islamic Republic from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Both countries have expressed concern that the agreement, as it stands, does not provide adequate monitoring to ensure that Iran will be unable to carry out military nuclear research.

By United with Israel Staff