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Daily Israel Report

McCain Charges White House With Israel Leaks

Sen. John McCain charges that the Obama administration is intentionally undermining Israel in its standoff with Iran.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 2/27/2012, 11:20 PM

John McCain
John McCain
Reuters

Sen. John McCain on Sunday lashed out at the Obama administration’s handling of rising tensions between Israel and Iran.

McCain told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the administration intentionally leaked to the media the reason for the US national security adviser’s trip to Israel – to try to persuade the country not to attack Iran.

McCain said the leak weakened Israel’s standing in its faceoff with Iran, rightly angered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and strained US-Israel relations.

“The prime minister has every reason to be upset,” McCain said. “I can understand why relations are in very bad shape right now.”

This is the second time in as many weeks that McCain has openly criticized senior US officials for their conduct towards Israel in its standoff with Tehran

Last week, McCain backed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a flare up with the Pentagon, saying “There should be no daylight between America and Israel in our assessment of the [Iranian] threat.”

“Unfortunately there clearly is some,” added the Senator.

McCain added differences between Washington and Jerusalem over Iran has caused “significant tension,” adding, “there is very little doubt that Iran has so far been undeterred to get nuclear weapons.”

In recent months Obama administration officials have leaked secret strategy meetings with Mossad chief Tamir Pardo on Iran, as well as Israel's theoretical timetable for an Iran strike.

They have also taken the unprecedented step of siding with Iran in accusing Israel of supporting the People's Mujahadeen of Iran in an assassination campaign targeting Iranian nuclear scientists.