How did we get to this?
The White House is accusing Israel of spying on closed nuclear talks with Iran, and using that intelligence to persuade members of Congress to undermine the Obama administration.
The Wall Street Journal cited senior administration officials as saying the Israeli espionage operation began soon after the US opened up a secret channel of communications with Tehran in 2012, aimed at resolving the decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear aspirations.
The apparent decision by the White House to leak the allegations is the latest symptom of the growing gulf between Barack Obama’s administration and Binyamin Netanyahu’s government over the Iran talks, in which the Israeli leader suspects US officials of being ready to make too many concessions at the expense of Israeli security.
So, how did we find out about this? Well by spying on Israel of course.
The US also conducts intelligence operations against Israel, and learned of the Israeli spying operation when it intercepted communication between Israeli officials exchanging classified information that US intelligence believed could only have been acquired by espionage.
The White House is not hiding the fact that they are leaking these findings on purpose, and have a very clear message for Israel: Spying is fine, but presenting gathered intelligence to members of Congress behind the administration’s back will not be tolerated.
“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,” the Wall Street Journal quoted a senior US official as saying.