Following a report that claimed Israel spied on nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran, and then gave the stolen classified information to Congressional Republicans, both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US House Speaker John Boehner have denied the allegations.
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that according to both current and former senior White House officials, Israel has been spying on private nuclear negotiations between Washington, Tehran and other major powers.
According to the anonymous officials, the spying operation, which included “information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe,” was part of Israel’s larger campaign to “penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal.”
The officials told the Wall Street Journal that the White House wasn’t as concerned about the fact that Israel spied on the negotiations, as it was about the fact that Israel then shared the stolen classified information with US lawmakers, in order to “drain support from a high-stakes deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program.”
On Tuesday, Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, told WND that the Prime Minister “unequivocally and totally” denies the allegations. “This is a story by uncited, anonymous sources and doesn’t have an ounce of truth to it,” Regev said.
Boehner, who was responsible for breaking protocol and inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress on March 3 about nuclear negotiations with Iran without first notifying the White House, is expected to visit Israel at the end of March on a Republican congressional delegation. He addressed the report on Tuesday, and said that he was “baffled” by it.
“Frankly I was a bit shocked, because, there was no information revealed to me whatsoever.” Boehner said. “I’m not sure what the information was, but I’m baffled by it.”