Israel has been accused of spying on Iran’s nuclear talks with the U.S. and several other countries. An official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the White House learned about Israel spying on the closed-door talks by spying on Israel.
Israel allegedly acquired the information about the nuclear talks from U.S. briefings, informants, diplomatic contacts and American politicians who are opposed to the deal.
Three of Israel’s top officials have denied the allegations.
“There is no such thing as Israel spying on the Americans,” said Israel’s defense minister Moshe Yaalon in a pre-Passover toast, according to a transcript of the occasion distributed by his office. “There is a strict prohibition on that,” he said.
The minister for strategic affairs, Yuval Steinitz, has also denied the charges. Steinitz went on Israeli television and said, “these claims are baseless and we reject them outright.”
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, called the report, which was released by the Wall Street Journal today, “incorrect and inaccurate.” Lieberman hinted that they may have learned more about the nuclear talks by spying on Iran, The New York Times reported.
“Clearly, the State of Israel has various security interests, and clearly we have good intelligence services,” he said on Army Radio. “We do not spy on the United States. There are enough elements involved, such as Iranian elements, first and foremost.”
The official who spoke to the Wall Street Journal said, “It’s no secret that the Israelis spy on us… What’s significant is that Israeli political leaders took intelligence and used it to push a political point of view.”
The U.S. along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union have been negotiating with Iran to limit the amount of uranium the Middle Eastern country can enrich. In exchange, the economic sanctions against Iran will be reduced.