My initial thoughts on the #IranDeal

Since the outset of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the most visible and vocal opponent to a nuclear accord. But while he has lobbied repeatedly before the United Nations and US Congress in the last six years, these efforts have yet to yield the desired results. Worse, disputes over the details of the deal and the nature of Iran’s regime contributed to the souring of US-Israeli relations. I don’t think his grandstanding contributed to the negative aspects of the deal, but they certainly didn’t help.

So what is Netanyahu to do?

The first step, in my opinion, is that Netanyahu work together with opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog and engage in thoughtful diplomacy that presents to Congress a clear and concise appraisal of the deal, including realistic measures that should be taken to improve its current language – particularly where it concerns potential Iranian breaches of the deal – while being careful not to condemn or reject the accord as it stands. It appears that this initial step is being taken, as Herzog announced Wednesday that he will cooperate with Netanyahu on this issue (though it is not enough for him to join the government).

While such a unified effort is not likely to convince a two-thirds majority of Congress to reject the deal, it will provide a new opportunity for dialogue between Israel and the United States that has been visibly lacking in recent months. As mentioned by former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin today, the key to ensuring Israel’s long-term security is maintaining a high-level of communication with the United States. While Israel is not a party in the accord and will do what it must to defend itself, maintaining the necessary military, strategic, and diplomatic depth to protect its national interests requires coordination with Washington, and unequivocal bipartisan support.

Posted on by Gabriel in Iran, Israel