CIA chief made secret trip to Israel ahead of Iran deadline

CIA chief made secret trip to Israel ahead of Iran deadline
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The head of the CIA reportedly made a secret trip to Israel, ahead of a looming deadline to finalize a nuclear deal with Iran.

According to Haaretz, Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanTrump lashes out at former intel officials for criticism of Iran tweet Trailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller MORE met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen during a visit as the guest of the leader of the Mossad intelligence service, Tamir Pardo.


Last Thursday's visit came amid increased tensions between the Obama administration and Israel, and followed the March elections that secured Netanyahu’s fourth term as prime minister.

The two nations have been especially divided over Iran.

While the U.S. and five other world powers have reached a tentative deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, Netanyahu has pushed a much more aggressive approach.

Brennan’s visit may have been an attempt to smoother over those differences, though Haaretz reported that it is unclear whether or not Brennan conveyed a particular message about the deal.

The Obama administration is seeking to reach a final nuclear deal by the end of the month to stop Iran from creating a nuclear weapon. The final deadline comes after an initial framework agreement reached in April to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for new limits on its nuclear program. 

"I can, I think, demonstrate, not based on any hope but on facts and evidence and analysis, that the best way to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon is a verifiable tough agreement," President Obama told Israel’s Channel 2 in an interview last week.  

"A military solution will not fix it,” he added. “Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program but it will not eliminate it.”

In addition to the nuclear deal, discussions between Brennan and the Israelis also touched on Iran’s broader role in the region, Haaretz said, from Iraq to Yemen.

The CIA declined to comment about the reported trip.