Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he is “shocked” by a Wall Street Journal that Israel spied on world powers’ nuclear talks with Iran, and denied that he received any information on those talks from the Jewish state.
The report said Israel was spying on closed-door nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany) and was using the information it gathered to build a case against an emerging deal with the Islamic Republic, including sharing information with U.S. lawmakers who are also critical of the negotiations with Iran.
“I read that story this morning, and frankly, I was a bit shocked because there’s no information revealed to me whatsoever,” Boehner told reporters on Tuesday. “I was shocked by the fact that there were reports in this press article that information was being passed on from the Israelis to members of Congress. I’m not aware of that at all.”
According to the Wall Street Journal report, the White House discovered the alleged Israeli operation when U.S. intelligence agencies were spying on Israel and intercepted communications among Israeli officials.
Despite being close allies, the U.S. and Israel routinely spy on each other’s activities. But Israel has denied the latest report, saying it gathered information on the nuclear talks through other means. Boehner is scheduled to travel to Israel, where he will meet with Netanyahu, by the end of March.