Report: Israel breached Iranian airspace in 2012

Israel violated Iranian airspace in 2012 in what was perceived by the US as a dry run for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, even as American officials concealed secret nuclear talks with Tehran, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The newspaper says the US had “closely monitored Israel’s military bases and eavesdropped on secret communications” during 2012, fearing that the Jewish state was planning an attack on the Fordo nuclear site of its long-standing enemy.

The report paints an image of two long-term allies increasingly suspicious of each other, who kept their own secrets and hid their covert activities.

According to the report, “[n]erves frayed at the White House” when the US discovered Israeli air activity over Iran, and Washington dispatched an aircraft carrier to the Mideast and also prepared attack aircraft, in case, as one senior American official told the Journal, “all hell broke loose.”

As the Obama administration held its backdoor talks with Iran in Oman, US intelligence was monitoring Israeli communications to ensure that Jerusalem was unaware of the meetings, the Journal said. But in a September 2013 encounter at the White House, Yaakov Amidror, then national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, revealed to American counterpart Susan Rice that Israel had identified unmarked US government airplanes in Muscat where the covert talks were being held.

Rice had called Amidror to the White House to inform him that US President Barack Obama was at that time holding a historic phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

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