Israeli officials are making a big deal of the fact that they’re not officially pushing for new sanctions against Iran today, saying they’re willing to let the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 continue through June.
That’s a huge concession for Israel, which has long rejected the idea of negotiations in general, and been public about its intentions to sabotage the talks.
The change in policy may not so much reflect any sudden Israeli faith in diplomacy, but rather the reality after the US mid-term elections, and ahead of Israel’s own March elections.
Israel’s coalition collapse means their officials’ leverage is at a serious low, and the far-right government is understandably interested in keeping their poor relations with the Obama Administration out of the campaign, meaning the less lobbying they do, the better.
Perhaps more importantly, the incoming Republican Senate leadership has made it clear they intend to push for sanctions to sabotage the talks even if Israel isn’t lobbying for it, so the need for lobbying may simply not be there right now.
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