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This illustration was adapted by Ronald David Jackson.
Report: Israel spied on Iran-U.S. talks and shared information with lawmakers
By Fred Barbash and Brian Murphy
Israel obtained sensitive information about the nuclear talks between Iran and the United States and turned it over to members of Congress, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. The insider details came from “confidential” briefings from U.S. officials as well as from “informants, diplomatic contacts in Europe and eavesdropping,” the paper said.
RELATED STORY: The Israeli “Art Student” Mystery - Hundreds of Israeli "Students" Caught Spying in the United StatesCiting “current and former officials,” the paper said the “spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal.”
The Journal, in its Tuesday edition, reported the “espionage” did not concern the White House “as much as Israel’s sharing of inside information with U.S. lawmakers and others to drain support” for a possible deal with Iran to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing of international sanctions.
RELATED STORY: 911 Revisited - The Mysterious Case of the 'Dancing Israelis' — And Other Curious Events Before and After 911 (Multimedia)The White House learned of the operation, the paper reported, when U.S. intelligence agencies “intercepted communications among Israeli officials that carried details the U.S. believed could have come only from access to the confidential talks, officials briefed on the matter said.”
Israel denied the charges, according to the Journal, which quoted a “senior official” in Netanyahu’s office calling the allegations “utterly false.”
But the Journal said its story was based on interviews with “more than a dozen” officials, including Israeli diplomats, intelligence officials and lawmakers.