U.S. criticizes Israel over Iran talks leaks

A White House spokesman said the Obama administration was mindful of the need to keep the negotiations private

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The White House said on Wednesday that Israeli officials had mischaracterized U.S. negotiations on Iran's nuclear program and criticized what it called “a continued practice of cherry-picking” and leaking information out of context.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the Obama administration is mindful of the need to keep the negotiations private and accused Israel of distorting the U.S. position.

“There’s no question that some of the things that the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate,” Earnest said at a news briefing. “There's no question about that.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, also accused Israel of “selective sharing of information” but declined to say what information had been cherry-picked.

“I think it is safe to say not everything you are hearing from the Israeli government is an accurate reflection of the details of the talks,” Psaki said.

The negotiations between the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and Iran have reached a crucial stage, as the countries previously agreed to deliver a basic framework agreement by the end of March and a final agreement due by June 30.

Earnest would not discuss details of U.S.-Israeli consultations on Iran nuclear negotiations.

“But I think it is fair to say that the United States is mindful of the need to not negotiate in public and ensure that information that’s discussed in the negotiating table is not taken out of context and publicized in a way that distorts the negotiating position of the United States and our allies,” he said.

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