JERUSALEM, Aug 30: Israel, seeking to contain damage from a brewing spy scandal in the United States, said on Monday it already receives all the classified information it needs from the U.S. government through shared intelligence.

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom reiterated Israel's strenuous denial of espionage after news the FBI was investigating whether a Pentagon analyst fed classified documents dealing with Iran via a powerful pro-Israel lobby group.

"There is no truth whatsoever in the claims that Israel spied or in any way acted against our great friend and ally, the United States," Shalom told reporters in Jerusalem.

"I think the ties between Israel and the United States are intimate. The cooperation and levels of information are so close, so intimate, that the information that is exchanged is much more classified that any conversation or another," he said.

Israeli officials insist that Israel has not spied on the United States since being caught red-handed two decades ago in a scandal involving U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard - jailed for life in a case that is still an irritant in relations.

The powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee also denied serving as a conduit for documents from the analyst connected to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's office.

But both countries share fears of militancy and whether bitter foe Iran will develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies trying to build bombs to rival Israel's presumed nuclear arsenal. -Reuters

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