Israel has officially denied any connection to allegations that it spied on Iran and Western powers discussing Tehran's nuclear program.
Speaking to Army Radio Thursday, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotlvely said “there is no basis for the reports on Israel's involvement in this. It is much more important to us to prevent a bad agreement from being signed. Otherwise we will find ourselves under an Iranian 'nuclear umbrella.'”
It was actually not the first denial issued by government officials. On Wednesday, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan called the allegations “utter nonsense."
"Israel does not use such methods, and we already have sufficient methods to find out what is going on in the talks” without having to resort to hacking,” he added.
Earlier Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal, quoting a report issued by the Kaspersky Lab ZAO, said that American officials suspected Israel in the planting of a version of the Duqu virus, which was found in the servers of several hotels where the virus had been discovered – specifically the hotels in Switzerland where the talks were taking place.
Kaspersky checked thousands of hotels throughout Europe, but found the viruses only at those locations.
On Thursday, Yitzhak Ben-Israel, head of the National Cyber-Security Forum, also denied Israeli involvement in the matter.
“These viruses are found on millions of computers around the world. It's similar to a mass virus that is spread between people – trying to track down the origin of a virus is speculative. There is often no way to pinpoint the culprit.”
Nevertheless, said Ben-Israel, hacking to discover secrets “is part of the game, especially for issues like the Iranian nuclear program.” While it might be logical to assume that Israel perpetrated the hack, “there is no proof of this,” he added.