Obama and Netanyahu.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The United States and Israel have stopped intelligence cooperation on Iran's nuclear program, Channel 10 reported Monday.
The reported halt in intelligence cooperation 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 and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the US Congress in which he is expected to speak out against such a deal on Tuesday.
The intelligence cooperation between the two countries has helped the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency collect information for reports on Iran's nuclear program in the past, according to Channel 10. These same IAEA reports helped convince the international community to support sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
The White House has expressed fears in closed conversations that Netanyahu will reveal secret details of the talks with Iran during his speech to Congress on Tuesday, Channel 10 added.
Comments from US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday appeared to contradict the Channel 10 report. In an interview with ABC, he said that the Israel-US security relationship was stronger than at any other time in the history of the two-countries.
In his speech to the AIPAC policy conference in Washington on Monday, Netanyahu as well cited security cooperation and intelligence sharing between the US and Israel as proof that the countries maintain a close relationship despite differences of opinion on Iran.
Despite both Israel and the US publicly trying to downplay their differences, the White House has referred to Netanyahu's visit to Washington as a "circus" that the Obama administration wants nothing to do with, Channel 10 reported.
The administration's anger at Netanyahu's visit is so severe, according to the report, that in addition to refusing to meet the Israeli prime minister during his stay in Washington, the US president does not even intend on calling Netanyahu during his visit.
The Prime Minister's Office declined to comment on the report.