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Iran Press TV

US continues spying on Israeli prime minister: Report

Iran Press TV

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:9AM

The US continues spying on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu despite claims to curtail hacking its allies, says a report, quoting the National Security Agency officials.

According to the Wall Street Journal report published on Tuesday, US President Barack Obama privately maintained the monitoring of Netanyahu on the grounds that it served as a "compelling national security purpose."

Obama announced two years ago that he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state after the world learned of the long-secret US surveillance programs but Bibi apparently remained exempt.

In Netanyahu's case, the WSJ report said, Washington was particularly concerned that Israel might be monitoring US negotiations with Iran as part of talks with the world powers to derail the effort to reach an accord on Tehran's nuclear program.

In 2013, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed much of the agency's spying operations and after the revelations and a White House review, Obama announced in a January 2014 speech that he would curb such eavesdropping on friendly heads.

The White House made a so-called protected list of allied leaders such as French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders excluding Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the report, quoting current and former US officials.

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