Report: CIA Chief John Brennan makes 'secret' visit to Israel
Haaretz's @BarakRavid reports that CIA director John Brennan made a 'secret' visit to Israel
last week as the guest of Mossad chief Tamir Pardo.
Brennan’s visit to Israel last Thursday had been planned long ahead
of time. However, it came at a sensitive diplomatic juncture, about a
month before the date set for a comprehensive agreement between Iran and
the six world powers on Iran’s nuclear program. It is unclear whether
Brennan conveyed a message about the agreement to Netanyahu from
President Barack Obama.
Israel and the U.S. are deeply divided over the
emerging agreement; Netanyahu has said publicly that he opposes it and
that he will try to stop it. Obama routinely rejects Netanyahu’s
criticism, including in an interview two weeks ago with Channel 2, in
which he said that the agreement was the best option to stop Iran from
attaining nuclear weapons.
In addition to the agreement with Iran, talks with
Brennan dealt with Iranian activities in the region in general.
Netanyahu has been warning in recent weeks of deepening Iranian
involvement in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, as well as the increasing amount
of weapons Tehran is providing to Hezbollah. Netanyahu has also warned
of attempted Iranian terror attacks against Israeli targets abroad.
A few days before his secret visit to Israel,
Brennan told the CBS program Face the Nation that the diplomatic and
political tensions between Obama and Netanyahu are not harming
cooperation between the intelligence organizations of the two countries.
And Brennan is not the only guest.
On Monday, a few days after Brennan’s visit, the chairman of the U.S.
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, landed in Israel. Dempsey,
who is the guest of Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot,
will also meet with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Like
Brennan’s visit, Dempsey’s is expected to deal mainly with the Iranian
There must be real fear in Washington that Israel can somehow stop this deal or blow it up by attacking Iran. Otherwise, you can bet that the Obama administration, which is in the fourth quarter of its existence, would not be going out of its way to placate Israel. Given that the US fears something Israel could do stop this deal, maybe we should stop talking and just do it?
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu, Gadi Eisenkot, Iranian nuclear threat, John Brennan, Martin Dempsey, Tamir Pardo