14:53 GMT03 August 2021
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    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)
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    According to US officials, Israel was spying on the Iranian nuclear program talks, in an effort to infiltrate the negotiations and hinder any potential deal.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Reports claiming that Israel spied on participants of closed-door talks on the Iranian nuclear program are shocking, US Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said during a press conference 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,” Boehner said.

    Early on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported citing senior US officials that Israel was spying on the international talks on the Iranian nuclear program, in an effort to infiltrate the negotiations and hinder any potential deal.

    Boehner, however, said he was “not aware” of claims that Israel had spied on the talks, and added he was “baffled” by the media report.

    Israel received additional information by spying on senior Iranian leaders and European officials, according to the media report.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recently reelected for his fourth term, is one of the main opponents to the nuclear talks with Iran. Netanyahu has advocated a hardline approach toward Iran, but has been criticized by US President Barack Obama for not providing a concrete plan of action.

    Israel and the West have long accused Iran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, while Tehran argues that its nuclear development is aimed purely at meeting its growing energy needs.

    International talks between the P5+1 group of countries and Iran have been ongoing for more than a year, with a looming end of March deadline to reach an agreement on a political framework around the corner followed by a long-term agreement by July. The P5+1 group consists of five permanent UN Security Council members — China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and France plus Germany.

    The next round of talks will begin in the Swiss city of Lausanne on March 26, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)


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