The United States has limited the quality and depth of the intelligence and information it shares with Israel about the ongoing progress of nuclear talks with Iran, said a senior Israeli official, cited by Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz.
The newspaper’s Monday report said the White House has begun limiting information about the talks as a result of the recent tension between the US and Israel, fearing Jerusalem would leak them since US President Barack Obama wants to reach an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, while Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu is doing everything he can do to block the talks.
An unnamed Israeli senior official, who spoke to the newspaper in condition of anonymity, said Obama fears that Netanyahu would use information for his own political interests and try to block the talks between Iran and world powers.
He added that the US continues to meet with their Israeli counterparts, but not giving information about the talks is at a lower level.
The issue was first mentioned by an Israeli journalist Amnon Abramovich, according to Haaretz. He reported on a TV program that the US decided to totally cut information on the talks with Israel.
However, both sides denied the issue between each other, but didn’t say anything about how much information they have been transferred on the case.
The limiting information matter comes during the rising tension between the US and Israel, fanned by the issue of Netanyahu’s planned speech before Congress when House Speaker John Boehner invited him without consulting the Obama administration.
Diplomatic relations between the US and Israel, especially between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seem to be on a knife-edge following Netanyahu’s unexpected visit to Washington, after Boehner’s invitation. The White House called the move a breach of protocol, pressuring Congress to bring about new sanctions on Iran.
President Barack Obama has asked Benjamin Netanyahu to stop encouraging US senators and congressmen to advance new sanctions legislation against Iran.
Obama gave the message to Netanyahu personally via phone last month, saying that he is already seeking a deal with Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons and to assure the international community that the nuclear program is for nonviolent purposes only, according to a senior American official who asked to be credited anonymously.
Additionally, the White House has announced that the President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will not meet Israeli PM during his “unexpected” visit to Washington.