A growing rift in the U.S.-Israeli relations: The Iran Nuclear Sanctions Dilemma

There is a growing rift between the United States and Israel. With the Obama administration racing to negotiate an agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program by the end of March, the administration of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has accused the U.S. of deliberately leaving Israel in the dark with regards to the details of these talks.

The announcement that Prime Minister Netanyahu will address Congress in March at the behest of House Republicans has deepened the uncharacteristic rift between the United States and Israel. The Israeli Prime Minister’s speech was planned without notifying the White House, and is said to be critical of Obama’s policies. To Netanyahu’s detractors, the speech is “seen as putting [his] political links to the Republicans ahead of Israel’s nation-to-nation ties with the United States, its strongest and most important ally, while serving as a pre-election campaign booster . . . .”

Now, with Mr. Netanyahu maneuvering to survive a March 17 election, and Mr. Obama pressing for a breakthrough agreement that could end three decades of enmity with Iran and reduce the chances of a military confrontation, it seems that Washington and Jerusalem are engaging in the diplomatic equivalent of posting notes to each other on the refrigerator door.

For its part, the United States has accused Israel of distorting its position in the Iran nuclear talks through selective leaks. “We see that there is a continued practice of cherry-picking specific pieces of information and using them out of context to distort the negotiating position of the United States’ White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.” Nonetheless, talks between the United States and Iran on the Tehran’s nuclear program will resume in Geneva this Friday.

Some argue that the back and forth between both administrations is merely a hebetudinous diplomatic conflict that shall ultimately have no effect over the longstanding U.S. ties with Israel. Notwithstanding, the rare U.S. criticism seems to be a clear indication that tensions are running high.

Photo by: Mark Israel; The Israel Project

For more information: 

Fear of Israeli Leaks Fuels Distrust Over U.S. Talks With Iran (NY Times)

Strains Grow Between Israel and Many Jews in the U.S. (NY Times)

U.S. Accuses Israel Of Inaccurate Leaks On Iran Nuclear Talks (Huffington Post)

Report: Iran to resume nuclear talks with U.S. on Friday (CNN)

Despite tensions, US-Israel defense relations stay solid (Times of Israel)



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