The Obama administration has “unilaterally” and "completely" stopped sharing intelligence with Israel over Iran’s nuclear development program due to its anger over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday address to Congress, Israel’s Channel 10 reported, a charge the White House flatly denied.
“The U.S. unilaterally stopped all of its joint activity with Israel regarding the nuclearization of Iran,” the news show reported Monday night. This freeze in intelligence sharing was attributed to the “American anger” at Netanyahu.
White House national security spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told TheBlaze in an email, "the report is completely false."
In this Oct. 26, 2010 file photo, a worker rides a bicycle in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran. (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Majid Asgaripour, File)
On Sunday, one day before the Channel 10 report, Secretary of State John Kerry touted the close security relationship with Israel in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.”
“We have a closer relationship with Israel right now, in terms of security, than at anytime in history,” Kerry said.
To make up for the gap, Israel is cooperating with other countries, not the U.S., to collect intelligence on Iran's nuclear program. Past joint efforts by American and Israeli intelligence have helped the International Atomic Energy Agency monitor Iran’s nuclear progress, which is suspected of ultimately being aimed at the development of weapons.
Those IAEA reports raising suspicions about the objectives of Iran’s nuclear program have been the cornerstone of the case to convince the international community to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Netanyahu was in Washington to warn lawmakers of the dangers of the emerging deal currently being negotiated between Iran and six world powers, including the U.S. Media reports have said the framework being worked out would monitor Iranian nuclear progress for only 10 years.
An unnamed senior aide to Netanyahu told reporters traveling on Netanyahu’s plane Sunday that the Obama administration was not fully sharing details with Congress about the negotiations.
The State Department on Monday warned Netanyahu against disclosing those details to Congress.
“We’ve continuously provided detailed classified briefings to Israeli officials to keep them updated and to provide context for how we are approaching getting to a good deal, because we’ve been very clear we will not accept a bad deal,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. “So any release of any kind of information like that would, of course, betray that trust.”
Channel 10 also reported that in addition to refusing to meet the Israeli leader, Obama had no plans to phone him while he’s in town either.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the prime minister’s office would not comment on the Channel 10 report.
This post has been updated with comment from the White House.