According to reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have leaked secret details about the United States’ nuclear negotiations with Iran to the Israeli press.
Washington Post writer David Ignatius reported that an unnamed source revealed the alleged leaks, which are said to be secretive and “misleading.” The leaks, however, are not believed to be highly sensitive, and rather are “technical details of the U.S. offers to Iran in the nuclear talks, such as the number of centrifuges that Iran would be allowed to maintain,” according to Vox.
The Israeli media reportedly began publishing the secrets in late January, just days after President Obama and Netanyahu had a phone meeting about the Iran negotiations.
“U.S. officials believed that Netanyahu's office was the source of these reports and concluded that they couldn't be as transparent as before with the Israel leader about the secret talks,” Ignatius said in his report.
“The details of the last round of negotiations are known in Washington, Paris, London, Moscow, Beijing, Berlin and Tehran,” an official from Netanyahu’s office said. “It is perplexing that a decision would be made to try to keep those details a secret from Jerusalem when Israel is threatened by Iran with annihilation and its very survival could be threatened by a bad deal.”
As Ignatius reported, March will be a very telling month in regard to the nuclear talks with Iran. Netanyahu will address Congress on March 3, Israeli elections will take place on the March 17, and the deadline for a framework deal in the negotiations is the March 24.
The alleged leaks could put a serious strain on the cooperation between the U.S. and Israel in regard to Iran. If cooperation between the two countries lessens and pressure is taken off of Iran, Iran then has “less incentive to make the painful concessions necessary to strike a deal, and a final nuclear deal is thus less likely to be achieved.”