U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, who is also the lead U.S. negotiator for Iran's nuclear program, did not confirm or deny on Saturday whether the U.S. eavesdropped on Israeli politicians.
In a Channel 10 interview to be broadcast on Sunday, Sherman also responded to criticism in Israel of the latest developments in the dialogue with Iran, and said that the U.S. is not pursing a lenient policy towards the Islamic Republic. "We have not offered any easing of the sanctions, we have not removed any of the sanctions," she said.
Asked by interviewer Tamr Ish Shalom whether the U.S. tapped the phones of Israeli officials, Sherman said that Israel has "wanted capabilities of intelligence which we all are very grateful for because we all rely on this superb intelligence community that Israel has to offer the world," she said. "We will all have to talk about these things together because we all face these challenges together - how in the world of the Internet, telecommunications, enormous capabilities, we make sure that there are not excesses, that we respect each other, that we respect the partnership and the friendship and the relationships that we have."
Pressed by Ish Shalom on whether this means there is no confirmation or denial of Washington listening in on Israeli polkiticians, Sherman said: ""I don't think it's really appropriate for me in this setting. I think what's important is what the president of the United States has said , and that is that he is undertaking a review, he wants to make sure that everything we're doing is appropriate. I'm sure we will be consulting with Israel, a very important intelligence partner of the United States, in how we are going forward."
Sherman was also asked by the interviewer about a report leaked by a White House official to CNN over the weekend, which claimed Israel was behind an attack in Syria in recent days. "I have no idea," Sherman said. "We have leaks on American policy as well, which we don't want. I don't know where it comes, and all of these kinds of leaks are most unfortunate and unhelpful."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now