Gaza and the Nuclear Negotiations

Why a Deal with Iran Is Getting Less Likely

A demonstrator outside the Israeli Embassy in London, July 26, 2014. Luke MacGregor / Courtesy Reuters

Back in November, when the P5+1 negotiators (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) reached an interim deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked it as a “historic mistake” that would make the world “a much more dangerous place.” Last week, the negotiators failed to reach a final accord and instead extended the negotiations by four months. This time, however, there was hardly a peep from Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s muted response may seem surprising given his previous vocal and public rebuke of the talks. Some might say that the escalating conflict in Gaza has distracted the Israeli leadership; one Israeli headline even suggested that “Netanyahu wanted to attack Iran, but got stuck in Gaza instead.” For his part, Netanyahu made it clear that Israel prefers no deal to a bad deal, which also might help explain his relatively subdued

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