after the U.S. and other major powers entered negotiations last year to
curtail Iran’s nuclear program, senior White House officials learned
Israel was spying on the closed-door talks.
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,
current and former U.S. officials said. In addition to eavesdropping,
Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants
and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said.
after the U.S. entered negotiations last year to curtail Iran’s nuclear
program, senior White House officials learned Israel was spying on the
closed-door talks. Photo: Getty
espionage didn’t upset the White House as much as Israel’s sharing of
inside information with U.S. lawmakers and others to drain support from a
high-stakes deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program, current and
former officials said.
is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is
another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to
U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S.
official briefed on the matter.
U.S. and Israel, longtime allies who routinely swap information on
security threats, sometimes operate behind the scenes like
spy-versus-spy rivals. The White House has largely tolerated Israeli
snooping on U.S. policy makers—a posture Israel takes when the tables
White House discovered the operation, in fact, when U.S. intelligence
agencies spying on Israel 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
officials denied spying directly on U.S. negotiators and said they
received their information through other means, including close
surveillance of Iranian leaders receiving the latest U.S. and European
offers. European officials, particularly the French, also have been more
transparent with Israel about the closed-door discussions than the
Americans, Israeli and U.S. officials said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and President Barack Obama
shown during a meeting at the White House in October. The leaders
disagree over the negotiations with Iran. Photo: GettyPHOTO: REUTERS
Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer early this year saw a
rapidly closing window to increase pressure on Mr. Obama before a key
deadline at the end of March, Israeli officials said.
levers of political influence unique to Israel, Messrs. Netanyahu and
Dermer calculated that a lobbying campaign in Congress before an
announcement was made would improve the chances of killing or reshaping
any deal. They knew the intervention would damage relations with the
White House, Israeli officials said, but decided that was an acceptable
campaign may not have worked as well as hoped, Israeli officials now
say, because it ended up alienating many congressional Democrats whose
support Israel was counting on to block a deal.
administration officials, departing from their usual description of the
unbreakable bond between the U.S. and Israel, have voiced sharp
criticism of Messrs. Netanyahu and Dermer to describe how the relationship has changed.
feel personally sold out,” a senior administration official said.
“That’s where the Israelis really better be careful because a lot of
these people will not only be around for this administration but
possibly the next one as well.”
account of the Israeli campaign is based on interviews with more than a
dozen current and former U.S. and Israeli diplomats, intelligence
officials, policy makers and lawmakers.
Distrust between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Obama had
been growing for years but worsened when Mr. Obama launched secret
talks with Iran in 2012. The president didn’t tell Mr. Netanyahu because
of concerns about leaks, helping set the stage for the current
standoff, according to current and former U.S. and Israeli officials.
officials said Israel has long topped the list of countries that
aggressively spy on the U.S., along with China, Russia and France. The
U.S. expends more counterintelligence resources fending off Israeli spy
operations than any other close ally, U.S. officials said.
senior official in the prime minister’s office said Monday: “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.” [SOL: This is total hipprocracy but typical for Israeli's Kol Nidre.]
and former Israeli officials said their intelligence agencies scaled
back their targeting of U.S. officials after the jailing nearly 30 years
ago of American Jonathan Pollard for passing secrets to Israel. [TOTAL BS!]
U.S. officials may not be direct targets, current and former officials
said, Israeli intelligence agencies sweep up communications between U.S.
officials and parties targeted by the Israelis, including Iran.
shouldn’t be surprised, said a person familiar with the Israeli
practice, since U.S. intelligence agencies helped the Israelis build a
system to listen in on high-level Iranian communications.
secret talks with Iran progressed into 2013, U.S. intelligence agencies
monitored Israel’s communications to see if the country knew of the
negotiations. Mr. Obama didn’t tell Mr. Netanyahu until September 2013.
officials, who said they had already learned about the talks through
their own channels, told their U.S. counterparts they were upset about
being excluded. “ ‘Did the administration really believe we wouldn’t
find out?’ ” Israeli officials said, according to a former U.S.
Ambassador Ron Dermer met with U.S. lawmakers and shared details on the
Iran negotiations to warn about the terms of the deal.PHOTO: CNP/ZUMA PRESS
episode cemented Mr. Netanyahu’s concern that Mr. Obama was bent on
clinching a deal with Iran whether or not it served Israel’s best
interests, Israeli officials said. Obama administration officials said
the president was committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear
Dermer started lobbying U.S. lawmakers just before the U.S. and other
powers signed an interim agreement with Iran in November 2013. Mr.
Netanyahu and Mr. Dermer went to Congress after seeing they had little
influence on the White House.
the interim deal was made public, Mr. Dermer gave lawmakers Israel’s
analysis: The U.S. offer would dramatically undermine economic sanctions
on Iran, according to congressional officials who took part.
learning about the briefings, the White House dispatched senior
officials to counter Mr. Dermer. The officials told lawmakers that
Israel’s analysis exaggerated the sanctions relief by as much as 10
times, meeting participants said.
the next round of negotiations with Iran started in Switzerland last
year, U.S. counterintelligence agents told members of the U.S.
negotiating team that Israel would likely try to penetrate their
communications, a senior Obama administration official said.
U.S. routinely shares information with its European counterparts and
others to coordinate negotiating positions. While U.S. intelligence
officials believe secured U.S. communications are relatively safe from
the Israelis, they say European communications are vulnerable.
Netanyahu and his top advisers received confidential updates on the
Geneva talks from Undersecretary of State for Political AffairsWendy
Sherman and other U.S. officials, who knew at the time that Israeli
intelligence was working to fill in any gaps.
The White House eventually curtailed the briefings, U.S. officials said, withholding sensitive information for fear of leaks.
and former Israeli officials said their intelligence agencies can get
much of the information they seek by targeting Iranians and others in
the region who are communicating with countries in the talks.
November, the Israelis learned the contents of a proposed deal offered
by the U.S. but ultimately rejected by Iran, U.S. and Israeli officials
said. Israeli officials told their U.S. counterparts the terms offered
officials urged the Israelis to give the negotiations a chance. But Mr.
Netanyahu’s top advisers concluded the emerging deal was unacceptable.
The White House was making too many concessions, Israeli officials said,
while the Iranians were holding firm.
administration officials reject that view, saying Israel was making
impossible demands that Iran would never accept. “The president has made
clear time and again that no deal is better than a bad deal,” a senior
administration official said.
January, Mr. Netanyahu told the White House his government intended to
oppose the Iran deal but didn’t explain how, U.S. and Israeli officials
On Jan. 21, House Speaker John Boehner (R.,
Ohio) announced Mr. Netanyahu would address a joint meeting of
Congress. That same day, Mr. Dermer and other Israeli officials visited
Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers and aides, seeking a bipartisan
coalition large enough to block or amend any deal.
Republicans were already prepared to challenge the White House on the
negotiations, so Mr. Dermer focused on Democrats. “This deal is bad,” he
said in one briefing, according to participants.
spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington, Aaron Sagui,said Mr.
Dermer didn’t launch a special campaign on Jan 21. Mr. Dermer, the
spokesperson said, has “consistently briefed both Republican and
Democrats, senators and congressmen, on Israel’s concerns regarding the
Iran negotiations for over a year.”
[SOL: THIS IS WHEN THE ISRAELI MIS-INFORMATION BEGAN]
Dermer and other Israeli officials over the following weeks gave
lawmakers and their aides information the White House was trying to keep
secret, including how the emerging deal could allow Iran to operate
around 6,500 centrifuges, devices used to process nuclear material, said
congressional officials who attended the briefings.
Israeli officials told lawmakers that Iran would also be permitted to
deploy advanced IR-4 centrifuges that could process fuel on a larger
scale, meeting participants and administration officials said. Israeli
officials said such fuel, which under the emerging deal would be
intended for energy plants, could be used to one day build nuclear
information in the briefings, Israeli officials said, was widely known
among the countries participating in the negotiations.
asked in February during one briefing where Israel got its inside
information, the Israeli officials said their sources included the
French and British governments, as well as their own intelligence,
according to people there.
Dermer never shared confidential intelligence information with members
of Congress,” Mr. Sagui said. “His briefings did not include specific
details from the negotiations, including the length of the agreement or
the number of centrifuges Iran would be able to keep.”
and former U.S. officials confirmed that the number and type of
centrifuges cited in the briefings were part of the discussions. But
they said the briefings were misleading because Israeli officials didn’t
disclose concessions asked of Iran. Those included giving up stockpiles
of nuclear material, as well as modifying the advanced centrifuges to
slow output, these officials said.
administration didn’t brief lawmakers on the centrifuge numbers and
other details at the time because the information was classified and the
details were still in flux, current and former U.S. officials said.
congressional briefings and Mr. Netanyahu’s decision to address a joint
meeting of Congress on the emerging deal sparked a backlash among many
Democratic lawmakers, congressional aides said.
Feb. 3, Mr. Dermer huddled with Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia
Democrat, who said he told Mr. Dermer it was a breach of protocol for
Mr. Netanyahu to accept an invitation from Mr. Boehner without going
through the White House.
Manchin said he told Mr. Dermer he would attend the prime minister’s
speech to Congress, but he was noncommittal about supporting any move by
Congress to block a deal.
Mr. Dermer spent the following day doing damage control with Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, congressional aides said.
Two days later, Mr. Dermer met with Sen. Dianne Feinstein of
California, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, at
her Washington, D.C., home. He pressed for her support because he knew
that she, too, was angry about Mr. Netanyahu’s planned appearance.
Ms. Feinstein said afterward she would oppose legislation allowing Congress to vote down an agreement.
aides and Israeli officials now say Israel’s coalition in Congress is
short the votes needed to pass legislation that could overcome a
presidential veto, although that could change. In response, Israeli
officials said, Mr. Netanyahu was pursuing other ways to pressure the
week, Mr. Netanyahu sent a delegation to France, which has been more
closely aligned with Israel on the nuclear talks and which could throw
obstacles in Mr. Obama’s way before a deal is signed. The Obama
administration, meanwhile, is stepping up its outreach to Paris to blunt
the Israeli push.
you’re wondering whether something serious has shifted here, the answer
is yes,” a senior U.S. official said. “These things leave scars.”
THIS ISRAELI PUSH TO OPENLY INFLUENCE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO CONSPIRE
AGAINST THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND U.S. NEGATIONS (5+) WITH
IRAN IS A DELIBERATE ATTEMPT BY BIBI AND THE ISRAELI LOBY TO INTERFERE
IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND ANY
CONGRESSPERSON OR SENATOR THAT WOULD VOTE IN FAVOR OF ISRAEL OVER THE
INTENTIONS OF THE WHITE HOUSE LOYALTY IS THEREFORE QUESTIONABLE AND
THEIR CREDIBILITY, OATH OF OFFICE AND PARTICIPANT AS A U.S. LAWMAKER HAS
BEEN DAMAGED TO THE POINT THAT THEY CAN NO LONGER BE TRUSTED TO
REPRESENT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAW WHO THESE
APPLAUDING JUMPING JACKS AND SO CALLED "REPRESENTATIVES" ARE THAT
ATTENDED BIBI'S ADDRESS TO CONGRESS. THE WHOLE DISPLAY OF EXCESSIVE
PRAISE FOR BIBI WAS TOTALY DISGRACEFUL. NO WONDER SOME CALL OUR CONGRESS
THE U.S. KNESSET.]
ROLAND SAN JUAN was a researcher, management consultant, inventor, a part time radio broadcaster and a publishing director. He died last November 25, 2008 after suffering a stroke. His staff will continue his unfinished work to inform the world of the untold truths. Please read Erick San Juan's articles at: ericksanjuan.blogspot.com This blog is dedicated to the late Max Soliven, a FILIPINO PATRIOT.
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