White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that sharing all details of the negotiations with governments that are not at the table would complicate efforts to get a deal that would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon in exchange for sanctions relief. The talks are being held among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — Germany and Iran.
“The United States is not going to be in a position of negotiating this agreement in public, particularly when we see that there is a continued practice of cherry-picking specific pieces of information and using them out of context to distort the negotiating position of the United States,” Earnest said, when asked whether the US was limiting the amount of information it shared with Israel about the talks.
“So, there is an obligation when you’re participating in these kinds of negotiations to ensure that those consultations and that those negotiations are carried out in good faith. And that means giving negotiators the room and the space to negotiate,” he said.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki went further, confirming that one of the steps the administration takes to ensure that “classified negotiating details stay behind closed doors” is to withhold them from Israel. She also directly blamed Israel for mischaracterizing the talks.
“I think it’s safe to say that not everything you’re hearing from the Israeli government is an accurate reflection of the details of the talks,” she said. “There’s a selective sharing of information.”
Make no mistake--Obama is getting set to throw Israel under the nuclear bus.But while Earnest and Psaki said the limitations on information sharing were longstanding, US officials more directly involved in the talks said the decision to withhold the most sensitive details of the negotiations dated back only several weeks.