In a move described as “punitive”, US President Barack Obama has recently decided to stop updating Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli security services on developments in talks with Iran on Tehran’s nuclear programme, Israel’s Channel Two reported.
According to the channel, in the wake of the recent crisis over Netanyahu’s speech at the US Congress, the US administration has decided to punish Israel by keeping it in the dark about the negotiations with Iran, which is at the main theme of Netanyahu’s speech in Congress.
The channel pointed out that the US decision stems from the fear that Netanyahu would exploit his newly acquired information in his election campaign.
US chief negotiator with Iran and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said she no longer briefs Israel on the course of the negotiations because the information has been used for internal targets in Israel.
The channel also reported that US national security adviser Susan Rice announced the cessation of her contacts with the Israeli National Security Council advisor Yossi Cohen because Israel has transformed the Iranian file, which is an international security file, to an internal political issue and a tool to interfere in internal American politics.
Netanyahu’s office remarked on the news claiming “the strategic relations between the two countries are deep”, and that Cohen will visit the United States this week to participate in a conference and meet both Sherman and Rice.
Earlier in the day, speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner said he deliberately kept Obama in the dark on Netanyahu’s invite.
Boehner told Fox News yesterday: “I wanted to make sure that there was no interference” referring to his decision to invite Netanyahu.
“There’s no secret here in Washington about the animosity that this White House has for Prime Minister Netanyahu,” he added.