When the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran was announced early Tuesday, everyone knew what was coming next. After spending decades railing against Iran’s nuclear program and months claiming the negotiations were a threat to Israel, there was no calming Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu down.
A day later, world leaders are starting to fire back with surprising openness, lashing Netanyahu for his insincerity. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond insisted no deal would’ve been good enough for Netanyahu, and that what he really wanted was a “permanent standoff” with Iran.
President Obama seemed a little less interested in placating Netanyahu today as well, giving his usual lip service on Israeli security concerns but insisting Netanyahu never provided a valid alternative to the deal, and said the deal was a fair sight better than war.
The criticisms are all fairly obvious, and the real news is how publicly they’re being made by high profile officials, and how quickly. This underscores a growing problem faced by Netanyahu internationally, compounding domestic criticism over his botched lobbying against the deal.
Israelis must see Netanyahu’s effort one of two ways. Either he was correct that the deal means the end of Israel, and failed despite his promises to stop it, or he was incorrect about the deal and is alienating the international community by continuing to complain. Neither puts him in a particularly favorable light.