Israeli security agency denies report finance minister leaked secret on Iran debate

By Xinhua

JERUSALEM, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) — The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Tuesday denied reports that Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz leaked to the Israeli media sensitive details from a confidential security cabinet meeting on Iran.

Quoting an Israeli source, al-Jarida, a Kuwait-based newspaper, reported Tuesday that the Shin Bet discovered the leak s by monitoring the¬†finance minister’s phone calls.

In September, Israeli news outlets reported details leaked from a top-secret security cabinet discussion on methods of dealing with Iran and its nuclear enrichment program, which Israel and the West believe conceals a weaponization project.

The leak outraged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who immediately cut the meeting short and threatened to force those present to submit to lie-detector tests to ascertain the source of the leaked information.

Steinitz, according to al-Jarida, divulged the information in order to engender a rift between the prime minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whom Steinitz tried to mark as the leaker.

Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen called Steinitz to say the Al-Jarida report is baseless, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Barak and Steinitz have repeatedly locked horns over budget allocations for the Defense Ministry.

Local news outlets reported that Steinitz chided Barak during a meeting with Netanyahu last week for wanting to secure a spot on the ruling Likud list in the next elections.


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