Aides to US President Donald Trump hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to find incriminating information on Obama administration employees who participated in Iran deal negotiations, The Guardian has reported.
The outlet reported that Trump’s team hired an Israeli spy agency the previous year in May to find derogatory information about former US President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes and former Vice-President Joe Biden’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Colin Kahl in an attempt to compromise the Iran nuclear accord.
The idea behind the move was to discredit those pivotal in selling the agreement, which — if any dirt had been located — would make it easier to pull out, The Guardian reported, citing a source familiar with details of the investigation.
There is no information on how deep the hired spies were able to dig, or what became of any possible information unearthed, according to the outlet’s sources.
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) commonly known as Iran Nuclear Deal, which stipulated a gradual lifting of sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program, was reached by the so-called P5+1 group — Russia, the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, Germany — and the European Union on July 14.
The International Atomic Energy Association has verified that Iran is upholding its commitments under the accord. However, Trump has repeatedly criticized the deal during his 2016 election campaign, saying the European Union needed to fix major flaws in it. He now faces the May 12 deadline to waive sanctions on Iran under the agreement.