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CIA director ‘secretly visited Israel’ over Iran nuclear deal

John Brennan, the director of the CIA, visited Israel secretly to discuss the upcoming Iranian nuclear deal with world powers

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CIA director John Brennan visited Israel as a guest of the Mossad chief Tamir Pardo on June 4 for secret meetings with Israeli intelligence personnel, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Two anonymous Israeli senior officials told Haaretz that the meeting was in regards to the upcoming nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, as well as “Iranian involvement in terror and revolutionary events in the Middle East.”

Brennan reportedly arrived in Israel as a guest of Pardo, but also met with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen. The visit had been reportedly scheduled for a long time, but comes just three weeks before the deadline set for the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, for which Israel and the U.S. have opposing views.

Netanyahu has publicly declared that he is opposed to the nuclear agreement that the U.S. has been at the forefront of, with Obama encouraging the deal in hopes that it will hinder Iran’s future possession of nuclear weapons.

In a recent interview with Face the Nation, Brennan explained that the diplomatic disagreements on the Iran issue were not harming the Israeli-U.S. relations.

“There is a very, very strong relationship between the United States and Israel on the intelligence, security and military fronts. It’s one of the great things, I think, about our system; there can be policy differences between our governments but the intelligence and security professionals know that we have an obligation to keep our countries safe and secure,” he said.

Brennan’s discussions in Iran also covered Israeli concerns with expanding Iranian involvement in Middle Eastern issues, such as on ISIS militants and the war in Yemen.

Just five days after Brennan’s alleged secret visit, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey landed in Israel to meet Netanyahu as well as Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, allegedly also to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal.