The inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rohani over the weekend finally puts the pro-diplomacy candidate into a position to make good on his campaign promises for negotiations with the US and a rapprochement over the nation’s nuclear program.
Rohani’s reasonableness isn’t sitting well with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who from the moment the election ended began campaigning against diplomacy and is now ramping up his threats to attack Iran unilaterally before the talks can really get off the ground.
Netanyahu’s campaign has the Obama Administration toning down expectations for talks, but at the same time it seems like a unilateral Israeli attack right now would be hugely unpopular, especially as hopes for negotiations rise.
That means such a strike is likely “plan B,” while Netanyahu is instead focusing on getting the US Congress to keep up the hostile rhetoric and push Obama against giving diplomacy any serious consideration. The early indications are he’s been effective, as an overwhelming majority of the Senate is pushing against talks.