‘Cherry-picked leaks’: US accuses Israel of distorting Iran nuclear talks details

Israel has inaccurately provided information and twisted the official US position and offers in nuclear talks with Iran, the White House and State Department stated, accusing Tel Aviv of “selectively” leaking details of sensitive talks.

There’s no question that some of the things that the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told the press.

I think it is safe to say not everything you are hearing from the Israeli government is an accurate reflection of the details of the talks,” echoed State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

Earlier in the week, Washington has voiced suspicions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had directly authorized the leaks to the Israeli press, including an alleged offer to Iran to keep 6,500 centrifuges for uranium enrichment. The White House spokesman expressed frustration with “cherry-picked” information he said the Israelis released out of context.

The United States is mindful of the need to not negotiate in public and ensure that information that’s discussed in the negotiating table is not taken out of context and publicized in a way that distorts the negotiating position of the United States and our allies,” said Earnest.

Comments from the White House and Foggy Bottom come as Netanyahu is expected to speak before the US Congress on March 3, following the invitation by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that was not cleared with either Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry.

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