Washington, Mar.17: The United States has decided to bar the entry of Uzi Arad, who is expected to be Israel's new National Security Adviser (NSA), for nearly two years on the grounds that he is an intelligence risk.
According to the Washington Times, Arad, a former member and director of intelligence for the Mossad, Israel's spy service, is mentioned in the indictment of Lawrence Franklin, a former Pentagon analyst who pleaded guilty in 2005 to providing classified information about Iran in a conversation with two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Beyond Arad's status, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to face difficulties abroad because of his choice, announced Monday, of Avigdor Lieberman to serve as foreign minister in a narrow new rightist government.
Lieberman, head of the Israel Is Our Home party, has advocated requiring Israel's 1.46 million Arabs to take a loyalty test or risk expulsion.
Arad acknowledged to The Washington Times that he has not been able to obtain a visa to come to the United States, but said the Israeli government is trying to change that.
"The director general of the Israel Foreign Ministry did tell his American counterparts that there has been no cause to deny me a visa," Arad told The Times.
Israeli and U.S. officials said Arad has been denied a U.S. visa since June 2007 under section 212 3(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
This gives consular officers and the Justice Department authority to bar people who may seek "to violate any law of the United States relating to espionage or sabotage" from entering the country.
Arad was a member of the Mossad spy service from 1975 to 1997. After retiring, he became Netanyahu's foreign policy adviser.
While in the Mossad, Arad worked mainly on analysis, but he also served as a liaison for intelligence operations with allied services such as the CIA.