Leak investigation halted amid concerns of exposing US-Israel actions against Iran

There are fears that the case could harm relations between the two countries if the US were to provide information while Israel refused.

March 11, 2015 09:27
1 minute read.

Iranian flag. (photo credit: REUTERS)

An investigation into a sensitive information leak has been stalled out of fears it could show evidence of a joint operation against Iran by the US and Israel, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The investigation surrounds classified documents that were allegedly leaked to the New York Times by retired Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright concerning a supposed cyber operation by the two countries intended to cut off nuclear enrichment efforts by Iran.

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According to the Washington Post report, proving a case could harm relations between the two countries if the US was to comply with investigation efforts and Israel was to refuse.

The report comes amid tensions in the relationship between Israel and the administration of US President Barack Obama over differences of opinion on an emerging diplomatic deal with Iran. There have been allegations that the US stopped intelligence cooperation with Israel on Iran's nuclear program as the deadline for a potential deal with the country nears.

In 2012, Cartwright said that operations against Iran would not be able to slow down their nuclear aspirations. “If they have the intent, all the weapons in the world are not going to change that, because the knowledge is there and they’d just build it back.”

At the time, Cartwright also said that, should Israel attack, the country “can delay it, some people estimate two to five years. But that does not take away the intellectual capital. That does not take away the ability of the Iranians to then proliferate the sites.”

He added that he didn’t “see a lot of value in going in,” particularly since an attack was likely to galvanize Iran to redouble its efforts, and suggested that his feeling was widespread throughout the US military.

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