Mossad boss Tamir Pardo
Source: Press TV
The head of Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, has recently paid a clandestine visit to the United States during which he reportedly held talks with high-ranking US officials in secret.
Tamir Pardo's clandestine visit to Washington was exposed during a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Haaretz reports.
The session, held last Tuesday, was attended by CIA Director David Petraeus, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Dianne Feinstein who chairs the Senate panel.
According to the report, Feinstein asked Clapper during the meeting whether or not Israel intended to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. The top US intelligence official answered he would rather discuss the issue behind closed doors.
Feinstein then indicated she had met the Mossad chief earlier in the week in Washington, with Petraeus saying he too has met Pardo and cited what he called Israel's growing concern over Iran's nuclear program.
The CIA chief added that it was important to note that Israel considered a nuclear Iran as an existential threat.
No further detail was revealed about Pardo's secret meeting during the session which was broadcast live on American television.
News of the Mossad chief's reported visit to Washington came as Israel's President Shimon Peres said on the same day that Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons capability.
Hinting at the possibility of a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, Peres reiterated that "no option should be ruled out in our dealing with the Iranian danger. This is an existential threat."
He claimed that preventing Iran from getting its hands on nuclear weapon was “the obligation of most of the leaders of the free world, one which they must meet."
The United States, Israel and their European allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and used this pretext to sway the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Washington and Tel Aviv have also threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike against its nuclear facilities.
Iran has refuted the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran has a right to use nuclear technology for peaceful use.