Reports of US not sharing info with Israel on Iran untrue: WH

The White House today refuted reports that the US is not sharing information with Israel over its negotiations with Tehran on the controversial nuclear programme.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 19, 2015, 01:55 AM IST

Washington: The White House today refuted reports that the US is not sharing information with Israel over its negotiations with Tehran on the controversial nuclear programme.

"I know that there were some initial reports that indicated that the US is no longer communicating with our allies in Israel about the ongoing negotiations with Iran. That obviously is false," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

He said: "There are any number of meetings that have taken place in recent weeks and are scheduled for the weeks ahead that indicate the continued close communication and coordination between US national security officials and their Israel counterparts."

Referring to the recent meetings that the US has had with Israel on the issue, Earnest said National Security Adviser Susan Rice maintains regular contact with her Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen.

"At the same time, we've also been very clear about the fact that the United States is not going to be in a position of negotiating this agreement in public, particularly when we see that there is a continued practice of cherry-picking specific pieces of information and using them out of context to distort the negotiating position of the US," he said.

"So, there is an obligation when you're participating in these kinds of negotiations to ensure that those consultations and that those negotiations are carried out in good faith. That means giving negotiators the room and the space to negotiate," he said.

The US is mindful of the need to not negotiate in public and ensure that information that is discussed is not taken out of context and publicised in a way that distorts the position of the US and our allies, Earnest said.

Israel has long claimed a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave threat to world peace. It views a nuclear-armed Iran a threat to its very existence. On the other hand, Iran has said its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.