Mossad distances itself from report that it opposes new Iran sanctions

"Lost in Translation," a cartoon by Nathan Moskowitz

( Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency distanced itself from a report that it opposes new American sanctions against Iran.

Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Mossad Director Tamir Pardo told U.S. representatives visiting Israel this week that applying sanctions on Iran now, when negotiations on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program are ongoing, would be like “tossing a grenade into the process.”

The Mossad responded by issuing a rare press release, stating, “The head of the Mossad noted that in negotiating with Iran, it is essential to present both carrots and sticks and that the latter are currently lacking. The head of the Mossad noted further that in the absence of strong pressure, the Iranians will make no meaningful compromises.”

“Regarding the reported reference to ‘throwing a grenade,’ the head of the Mossad did not use this expression regarding the imposition of sanctions, which he believes to be the sticks necessary for reaching a good deal with Iran,” the statement said. “The head of the Mossad pointed out explicitly that the bad agreement taking shape with Iran is likely to lead to a regional arms race.”

According to Israel’s Army Radio, the Bloomberg News report was leaked by the Obama administration as “revenge” against Israel for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address Congress on the Iranian threat. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Boehner breached “protocol” by inviting Netanyahu without consulting the president.

Posted on January 23, 2015 .