White House Says Israel Delegation Won’t Sway Position on Iran Deal

Israel hoping to use traditional influence to stop deal

Israel is sending a major high-level delegation to Washington DC this week, with a careful eye on ongoing talks in Vienna, and the possibility that the P5+1 nuclear deal could be salvaged by the US returning to the deal.

Israeli opposition to diplomatic progress with Iran is very well known, and the delegation’s visit is just the latest effort to sabotage any sort of nuclear deal before it happens. The White House seems well aware of this, saying that Israel’s delegation will not be able to change the US position on Iran.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki says the US considers Israel “a key partner of these discussions” and will keep them informed on the process. Israel’s historically broad sway on US Middle East policy seems to leave them believing that they can influence, if not dictate, the decisions made.

Either way, Israel is gunning for ending the talks. The Vienna meeting started the same day Israel sabotaged Natanz. The US warned that was clearly not helping, but Israel has always been determined to get what it want by hook or by crook, and White House warnings that they can’t order them around on the deal is likely only to fuel more covert actions.

While it wasn’t so long ago Israel could’ve expected a lot of influence here, politics have changed things. With Trump determined to sell himself as the most pro-Israel president ever, and Netanyahu portraying Obama as somehow unacceptable to Israel, mostly because of Iran, Israel is less bipartisan than it had been in the past.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.