After Trump-era hand-in-glove sabotage ops, Netanyahu kept Iran-engaging Biden in the dark about Natanz attack – media
The government of Israel’s then-prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reportedly notified the Biden administration less than two hours before it launched a sabotage operation at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility.
The remarkable lack of intelligence cooperation between the US and Israel was revealed by the New York Times on Thursday, indicating a rough patch in relations that the two nations need to overcome. The attack, which Israel has never claimed responsibility for, happened in April and caused damage to a power plant at the highly-protected Iranian nuclear facility.
The Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, “gave the United States less than two hours’ notice” before the operation, the newspaper said, citing anonymous Israeli and American officials.
This left Washington with virtually no time to assess the plan and potentially make objections. Israeli officials explained the decision, claiming the Americans had previously “leaked information about some Israeli operations,” the Times said. American officials denied the accusation. Other Israeli sources said Netanyahu was concerned that the Biden administration, which was seeking rapprochement with Iran, did not pay enough attention to Israel’s security concerns.Also on rt.com Iran identifies suspect behind ‘EXPLOSION’ at Natanz nuclear site, says he’s fled the country
In the US, the snub was taken as a violation of the spirit of cooperation between the two nations, the newspaper said. The Americans believe that Netanyahu acted on a grudge he had held since the Obama administration, which negotiated and signed the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran despite Israeli objections. The White House reportedly even failed to inform Israel about the ongoing talks, angering Netanyahu when his intelligence officials learned about them on their own.
The Trump administration, by contrast, worked hand-in-glove with the Netanyahu government against Iran, including cooperating on the controversial 2020 US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
The Biden administration wanted to reverse the Trump-era policy of maximum pressure against Iran, including by reviving the nuclear agreement. Months of indirect talks with Tehran have so far failed to produce a breakthrough.
Some observers said the April 11 operation at Natanz and other suspected acts of high-profile Israeli sabotage against Iranian targets were meant to provoke retaliation from Tehran and make continuation of the US-Iran talks untenable for Washington. Arguably, it won Israel time for a new hardline government to be elected in Tehran, diminishing the chances for detente in the Middle East.Also on rt.com Ex-Mossad chief indicates Israel was behind Iranian nuclear facility explosion and military scientist assassination
According to the Times, Israel gained the upper hand over the US in terms of espionage against Iran, which was reportedly efficient in dismantling US networks. Israel meanwhile managed to protect its assets on the ground, so Washington has been relying heavily on its partner for human intelligence on Iran.
The revelation comes ahead of a visit to the US by Naftali Bennett, who replaced Netanyahu as prime minister in June. Bennett is due to meet Biden later on Thursday.
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