Israel denies reports of espionage on US-Iran talks

Following Wall Street blast, several Israeli officials deny reports that Israel spied on talks between Iran and United States; World powers and Iran to end talks next week-

World powers, EU and Zarif (AFP)

World powers, EU and Zarif (AFP)

Several Israeli officials have denied reports that Israel spied on the United States’ negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program.

Several reports, the largest from the Wall Street Journal, have accused Israel of espionage following reports over the past month the United States has not been updating Israel on developments in nuclear talks. The United States has maintained its position that it has been informing Israel on progress in talks despite reports.

The Wall Street Journal piece not only accused Israel of espionage but also claimed that 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” in reference to world powers and Iran’s March 31 deadline for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

The Wall Street cited a senior official from Israel who stated on Monday that “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.”

On Tuesday, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon denied the reports and accusations stating that there is “no way” would have spied on Israel’s “closest ally” and that it was “strictly forbidden. He stated that he was “sorry it came out this way. I have checked whether anyone from the intelligence community received a complaint, because if there was such a thing we should have received a complaint. We did not receive any complaint, but apparently someone has an interest in sparking a dispute, or creating a bad atmosphere in our relations.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman told Army Radion Tuesday received information on details of the deal between Iran and world powers through a “different side” and that “We do not spy on the United States. All the information we obtained is from a different side and not through the United States.”

Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner stated he was “baffled” and “shocked” by the reports and that he was not aware of any of it. Boehner is to visit Israel in next month.