Politics at play
On January 21, 2015, Josh Rogin and Eli Lake at Bloomberg News reported Israeli Mossad Goes Rogue, Warns U.S. on Iran Sanctions:
The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad has broken ranks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling U.S. officials and lawmakers that a new Iran sanctions bill in the U.S. Congress would tank the Iran nuclear negotiations.
Already, the Barack Obama administration and some leading Republican senators are using the Israeli internal disagreement to undermine support for the bill, authored by Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Robert Menendez, which would enact new sanctions if current negotiations falter.
In a rare move, the head of Mossad issued a statement denying the reports that he is against sanctions.
Israel Matzav has the details and translation:
The above was just posted on TwitLonger by Israel Radio reporter Chico Menashe. Here’s my translation:
Reaction of the Mossad Chairman to the new crisis with Washington:
On 19 January 2015, Mossad Chairman Tamir Pardo met with a delegation of American Senators. The meeting took place at the Senators’ request, and with the Prime Minister’s approval.
Contrary to the report, the Mossad Chairman did not say that he opposes additional sanctions against Iran. In the meeting, the Mossad Chairman emphasized the unusual effectiveness of the sanctions imposed on Iran a number of years ago in bringing Iran to the negotiating table.
The Mossad Chairman pointed out that the negotiations with Iran must be conducted using ‘carrots and sticks,’ and the ‘sticks’ are currently missing. The Mossad Chairman pointed out that without strong pressure, it will not be possible to bring about significant compromises on the Iranian side.
The Mossad Chairman did not relate to the use of the term ‘hand grenade’ with respect to the imposition of sanctions, because in his eyes, these are the ‘sticks’ that will help to obtain a good agreement. He used this term to describe the possibility of creating a temporary breakdown in the talks, at the end of which the negotiations will be restarted under better conditions.
The Mossad Chairman explicitly pointed out that the agreement that is being reached with Iran is bad, and may lead to a regional arms race.
Head of Mosad say he didn’t say that it is wrong to put more sanctions on Iran
— Udi Segal (@usegal) January 22, 2015
Haaretz further reports:
Mossad chief Tamir Pardo issued a rare press release on Thursday denying reports that he told U.S. senators he was opposed to further sanctions on Iran during its negotiations with world powers over its contentious nuclear program.
In a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Pardo noted that he did meet with a delegation of senators on January 19, at their request, and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval.
“Contrary to what has been reported, the Head of the Mossad did not say that he opposes imposing additional sanctions on Iran, ” read the statement. Rather, “the Head of the Mossad emphasized in the meeting that the exceptional effectiveness of the sanctions imposed on Iran in recent years are what brought Iran to the negotiating table.”
The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Israeli sources claim the false report was leaked by the Obama administration to Bloomberg as revenge for Netanyahu accepting Congress’ invitation to speak:
Israeli Officials in Jerusalem told Army Radio on Thursday that a report in Bloomberg highlighting the rift between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the vaunted intelligence agency Mossad over Iran sanctions was “the Obama administration’s revenge” over the Republican-controlled Congress’ invitation to the premier to speak before a joint session without consulting the White House.
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