In secret visit, CIA chief said to brief Netanyahu on Iran – The Times of Israel
The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, met with senior Israel officials last week during a classified trip to the country to discuss the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, Haaretz reported Tuesday.
The report was sourced to two unnamed Israeli officials, and noted that Brennan had met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen, Military Intelligence head Herzl Halevi and other senior members of Israel’s intelligence community.
Along with the Iran’s nuclear program and the emerging accord between Tehran and the world powers — a deadline for a long-term deal has been set for June 30 — the talks focused on Iranian activities in the region.
Netanyahu has repeatedly warned that even setting aside Iran’s nuclear project — which Israel says has a military dimension — the Islamic Republic has territorial ambitions in the region and has already “gobbling up” four Arab capitals: Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa.
To that effect, Israel has come out strongly against the pact with Iran, arguing that the deal does not mention Tehran’s supply of long-range missiles, that despite inspections, Iran will clandestinely break out to the bomb, and that once lifted, sanctions cannot be snapped back on.
Jerusalem also argues that sanctions relief will give Iran a massive infusion of cash with which to fund its proxies in the region, including the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, a bitter enemy of Israel.
In April, Brennan slammed criticism of the framework nuclear deal with Tehran as “disingenuous” and noted that he was “pleasantly surprised” by Iran’s concessions.
“I must tell you the individuals who say this deal provides a pathway for Iran to a bomb are being wholly disingenuous, in my view, if they know the facts, understand what’s required for a (nuclear) program,” Brennan said.
“I certainly am pleasantly surprised that the Iranians have agreed to so much here. In terms of the inspections regime, the reduction as far as the centrifuges, the stockpile, what they’re doing with the Arak reactor, all of that I think is really quite surprising and quite good,” he said.