Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to prevent a briefing by Mossad chief Tamir Pardo for U.S. Senators last January, Time reported. Apparently, Pardo was planning to warn the dignitaries that Congress shouldn’t sabotage the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
This contradicted Netanyahu’s message, later delivered in Congress, that the talks with Iran must be stopped because they appear to be inherently faulty, placing Israel and the world in danger.
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Last January, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker (R-Ten), asked for a briefing with Pardo for six senators who were visiting Israel at the time. But when Netanyahu’s office deleted the requested meeting from the schedule, Corker said he would retaliate by cutting his own trip to Israel short, Time reported.
Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer intervened, and Netanyahu gave in. The briefing included Republican Senators Corker, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and John Barrasso, Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and Joe Donnelly, and Independent Senator Angus King.
During the meeting, Pardo compared the Kirk-Menendez bill to “throwing a grenade” into the U.S.-Iran negotiations.
The Kirk-Menendez bill, proposed by Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Robert Menendez, sought to impose new sanctions on Iran should there be no agreement by the June 30 deadline. Pardo cited intelligence assessments that the bill itself could cause the collapse of the talks well before the deadline.
The U.S. and Iran are entering the next phase of negotiations in Switzerland this week, attempting to extend and expand the Nov. 2013 agreement over Iran’s nuclear program by 10 years. The effort has been marred not by Netanyahu’s combative speech to the Congress, but also by the open letter sent by 47 GOP Senators to Iran’s leaders, warning them that Congress could reverse any deal they sign with the president which did not receive Congressional approval.