The Associated Press reports: The United States and Iran secretly engaged in a series of high-level, face-to-face talks over the past year, in a high-stakes diplomatic gamble by the Obama administration that paved the way for the historic deal sealed early Sunday in Geneva aimed at slowing Tehran’s nuclear program, The Associated Press has learned.
The discussions were kept hidden even from America’s closest friends, including its negotiating partners and Israel, until two months ago, and that may explain how the nuclear accord appeared to come together so quickly after years of stalemate and fierce hostility between Iran and the West.
But the secrecy of the talks may also explain some of the tensions between the U.S. and France, which earlier this month balked at a proposed deal, and with Israel, which is furious about the agreement and has angrily denounced the diplomatic outreach to Tehran. [Continue reading...]
Haaretz reports: Israel found out about the existence of secret talks between the United States and Iran months before they were officially informed of the negotiations by the U.S. government, a senior Israeli official told Haaretz. The Israeli government learned of the secret negotiations sometime near the beginning of the summer through intelligence it managed to obtain.
Managed to obtain how? Through surveillance on U.S. diplomatic communications? Or, more likely, through leaks from an Israel-friendly Washington insider.