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    Disagreements Over Iran Nuclear Deal 'No Excuse' for US Spying on Israel

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    Netanyahu’s disapproval of the US policy toward Iran and its nuclear program should not be used as an excuse for the United States to spy on Israel, one of its strongest allies in the Middle East, an opposition member of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had intercepted communication between Israeli and US officials during the Iran nuclear negotiations to determine how to counter Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unwavering opposition to the nuclear deal.

    "Complex relations between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu Cabinet, a level of stress in the course of this summer still cannot justify the US spying on its closest ally in the Middle East," Ksenia Svetlova said.

    Svetlova added that she personally objected Netanyahu’s attempts to compromise the conclusion of the Iran nuclear agreement as "it was wrong and it harmed our relations" with the United States.

    Netanyahu has been a staunch opponent of the Iran nuclear deal that was reached by Tehran and the P5+1 group of international negotiators in July.

    The NSA reportedly found that Israeli officials were leaking details of the Iranian nuclear deal to parties in the United States, and coordinating talking points with US-based Jewish advocacy groups in order to kill the nuclear agreement.

    In 2013, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed how the Obama administration had spied on leaders of friendly countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Following Snowden’s revelations, Obama announced a revised policy that would omit friendly governments from US espionage.

    Related:

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    White House Should Expect Backlash for NSA Spying on US, Israeli Officials
    Spying Scandal: French Government to Content Itself With Mere Protests
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    spying, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, United States
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