US hawks defend Israel amid news it spied on Iran talks

US lawmakers have rushed to defend Israel amid reports that the Zionist regime spied on US-Iran nuclear talks and slipped intelligence to a skeptical Congress.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a fierce critic of diplomacy with Iran, said he already knew any information the Israelis shared with him.

“No one from Israel’s ever briefed me about the agreement,” he told reporters, according to The Hill.

The South Carolina Republican, who is considering a run for president in 2016, said he wished the report was correct. “I hope we’re spying on the Iranians.”

Senior White House officials said in a report published by the Wall Street Journal on Monday that Israel spied on the closed-door nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 and used the intelligence to persuade Congress to undermine the talks.

US officials told the Journal the spying operation was part of a campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal.”

Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “I haven’t had any of them coming up and talking with me about where the deal is. I was kind of wondering who it was they were meeting with.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) 

“I got to be honest; I’ve never had them really share anything with me that I couldn’t read in one of your publications,” said Corker, who has drafted a bill requiring congressional review of any nuclear deal with Iran. “Most of it you can get on the Internet.”

House Speaker John Boehner, who stirred controversy by inviting Netanyahu to address Congress about Iran earlier this month, said he was “shocked” and “baffled” by the report, and made clear he had never been briefed by Israel on the ongoing talks.

“I read that story this morning, and frankly, I was a bit shocked,” Boehner said. “There was no information revealed to me whatsoever.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said all she knew about the espionage report is what she read in the Journal.

President Barack Obama has refused to comment on the report. “As a general rule, I don’t comment on intelligence matters in a big room full of reporters,” Obama told reporters on Tuesday.

Iran and the P5+1 are currently negotiating to reach a comprehensive agreement on the country’s nuclear program as a deadline slated for July 1 draws closer.

By Press TV