CIA chief in 'secret' Israel talks on Iran: Report
Jerusalem, Jun 9: CIA chief John Brennan made a "secret" visit to Israel last week to discuss an emerging nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported today.
It came as a June 30 deadline looms for a deal that would row back Iran's nuclear programme in return for relief from sanctions, which Israel has long opposed, causing friction with the White House.
Brennan met his counterpart Mossad chief Tamir Pardo and other intelligence officials, as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Haaretz reported, citing "senior Israeli officials." They discussed the emerging Iran deal and Tehran's "subversive" activities around the Middle East. The prime minister's office and the defence ministry declined to comment on the report.
Netanyahu's staunch opposition to any agreement with Iran has helped bring his relations with US President Barack Obama to an all-time low. In March, the Israeli premier controversially took his campaign to the US Congress, calling on lawmakers to block any deal between the powers and the Jewish state's arch-foe.
The Iran issue was also set to be high on the agenda of a separate visit to Israel by the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. Dempsey, who arrived yesterday, is due to hold talks with Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon and armed forces chief of staff Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot.