Copyright 1990 Mednews
Mednews - Middle East Defense News
March 19, 1990
HEADLINE: State Department leak blocks Israeli POW talks?
On December 18, NBC television reported that Israel had negotiated a secret deal to buy Iranian oil, as part of an effort to woo Tehran into releasing Ron Arad, an Israeli aviator downed over Lebanon in 1986 and now believed to be held in Iran (MD 3,7/8). The leak, which originated in Washington, effectively brought the Israeli contacts with Iran to a halt. Mednews has learned that the day before the leak, Israeli officials briefed the State Department on the oil deal with Iran "to play it safe." Their concern was to avoid the type of accusations that were levelled at the Israeli government at the start of the Iran-contra affair. The Israelis now claim that the leak prevented Arad's release, which had been negotiated in detail with Iranian officials.