The Times reported that Obama saw the JCPOA as the “centerpiece of his foreign-policy legacy.” For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, the newspaper reported that the deal would, according to The Times’ characterization, “be the ultimate betrayal — Israel’s closest ally negotiating behind its back with its most bitter enemy.”
The newspaper reported that in the lead up to the talks, the Obama administration spied on Israeli military movements near Iran.
The Times reported:
Obama took the possibility of a sudden Israeli strike seriously. American spy satellites watched Israeli drones take off from bases in Azerbaijan and fly south over the Iranian border — taking extensive pictures of Iran’s nuclear sites and probing whether Iranian air defenses spotted the intrusion. American military leaders made guesses about whether the Israelis might choose a time of the month when the light was higher or lower, or a time of the year when sandstorms occur more or less regularly. Military planners ran war games to forecast how Tehran might respond to an Israeli strike and how America should respond in return: Would Iran assume that any attack had been blessed by the United States and hit American military forces in the Middle East? The results were dismal: The Israeli strikes dealt only minor setbacks to Iran’s nuclear program, and the United States was enmeshed in yet another war in the Middle East.
This is not the Obama administration’s only alleged surveillance actions concerning the nuclear deal. Another action reportedly spied on American citizens.
In 2015, The Wall Street Journalcited current and former U.S. officials at the time divulging that U.S. surveillance programs captured communications between members of Congress and Israeli leaders, providing intelligence information about Israeli efforts to lobby against the JCPOA.