spied on American negotiations with Iran for a nuclear enrichment treaty.
The apparent decision by the White House to leak the allegations is the latest symptom of the growing gulf between Barack Obama’s administration and Binyamin Netanyahu’s government over the Iran talks, in which the Israeli leader suspects US officials of being ready to make too many concessions at the expense of Israeli security. Intelligence analysts suggested that the leak reflects the degree of anger in Washington at Netanyahu’s actions, and could mark a more serious blow to the already tottering relationship.
The leak has come exactly a week before a deadline for the US-Iranian negotiations in Lausanne to produce a framework agreement.
According to the report, the US has long been aware that Israel is among the shortlist of countries with the most aggressive intelligence operations targeting America, alongside Russia, China and France. It said American diplomats attending the talks in Austria and Switzerland were briefed by US counterintelligence officials about the threat of Israeli eavesdropping. It also raised the possibility that Israel gathered intelligence about the US position by spying on other participants in the negotiations, from western Europe, Russia, China or Iran. US intelligence had previously provided help to the Israelis to spy on the Iranians, the report said.
The fact is that Israel has a rich history of spying on the hand that feeds it some $3-billion a year.
The most infamous case was that of Jonathan Pollard currently serving a life sentence. By some accounts Pollard may be released from prison this November. Netanyahu has repeatedly pressed various American presidents to free Pollard at one point claiming it would be an appropriate reward for Israel suspending the expansion of illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories for three months.
In the 60s, Zalman Shapiro was suspected of smuggling weapons-grade uranium from his processing plant in Pennsylvania to Israel. In 1985, US businessman Richard Smyth was convicted of shipping about 800 nuclear bomb triggers disguised as "radio tubes" to Israel.
Then there's this eye-opening summary of Israeli spying against the United States published in 2004 in CounterPunch.
Overall, it seems that Israel was second only to the Soviet Union in spying on America, at least until the recent ascendancy of China.