The State Department repeatedly refused to say Wednesday whether or not Israeli spies compromised U.S. communications during the Iran negotiations.
The Wall Street Journal reported the Russian Kapersky Lab, after checking millions of computers in thousands of hotels around the world, found a virus that infected computers in three hotels. The three with viruses were the luxury hotels in Geneva that hosted the Iran nuclear negotiations.
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Upon examination, the firm concluded that the spyware was a newer version of Doqu, a virus cybersecurity experts say Israel used for their most important missions.
"Are you confident that there was no compromise? There was no breach?" AP reporter Matt Lee asked State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke about the report.
"We take steps to ensure that information remains behind closed doors," Rathke said vaguely.
"You can take steps to ensure that don’t work," Lee said, pressing Rathke not to deflect his direct questions.
Rathke repeatedly dodged the question, explaining that the State Department went to great lengths to ensure the security of communications between the negotiators, but declined to address any details within Kapersky’s allegations.
"I’m not commenting on the specifics of that report," Rathke said.
Earlier, the U.S. was made aware of Israeli espionage on the nuclear talks when Israel shared information on the very secretive talks with U.S. lawmakers, a move that irked the White House and further increased tensions between the two governments.
The spying was part of Netanyahu’s hopes to sabotage the talks Israel was kept out of by building a strong case against specific details of the deal. Netanyahu and the Israeli government fear Obama will concede too much to Iran, allowing the state sponsor of terrorism to continue enriching uranium for a bomb the Ayatollah would point at Jerusalem.
One last time, Lee asked Rathke if the State Department was confident in the measures taken for security.
"We are always mindful of the need to take steps to keep discussions confidential," Rathke said.
Finally, Rathke called it quits.
"I just don’t have anything else to say."