Israel Blames U.S. for Media Reports About Iran Strategy
Top officials in Israel are charging that national-security leaks coming from the U.S. government are undermining Israel’s military options against Iran. “The problem is the Iranians are certainly paying close attention to these reports,” a senior Israeli official told The Daily Beast. “We are concerned about the leaks and we hope they are not intentional.”
The latest such leak appeared March 28 on Foreign Policy magazine’s website, claiming that Israel had been granted secret access to airbases in Azerbaijan near Iran’s northern border. The piece was sourced to senior U.S. diplomats and military-intelligence officers.
In Washington the article was referred to in a conference call on March 30 between leaders of the American Jewish community and Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, according to notes of the call provided by a participant in the meeting. The first question McDonough was asked during the meeting was whether the Foreign Policy story was leaked to “undercut Israel.”
McDonough told the Jewish leaders that he personally abhors leaks and that he did not know the sources for the article. He also said he wouldn’t—or couldn’t—confirm the report. “The policy is to press the Iranians, not the Israelis,” McDonough said, according to the notes.