Israeli Spying and the Iran Talks
The Wall Street Journal reports that Israel spied on the negotiations with Iran, and then used that information to try to influence Congress to derail the deal:
The 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.
“It 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.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that Israel was spying on the talks, and it isn’t even all that surprising that their government used what it learned to attempt to sabotage a deal. The Israeli government has plainly been opposed to the negotiations with Iran all along, and it has sought to derail them from the beginning. Nonetheless, the use of the information they gathered to try to subvert U.S. diplomacy confirms that the goals of our governments have been diametrically opposed on this issue for years. It is yet another reminder that the U.S. and Israel aren’t allies, and on this issue in particular Israel has not behaved as an ally of the United States. This is all the more obnoxious when one considers that the U.S. has gone to extraordinary lengths to placate and reassure Israel on all matters relating to Iran for more than a decade at least. There is no client that has less reason to complain about U.S. treatment and less cause to doubt U.S. goodwill than Israel. Even so, this doesn’t stop their government from acting to undermine the efforts of our government to secure an agreement that would limit Iran’s nuclear program just as the Israeli government claims to want.