Israel To Make Its Case Before UN, Iran’s Rouhani Brings His Case For Moderation Home

This week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take center stage at the United Nations to deliver what he described as a counter to the “sweet talk” offered by Iran last week.

Before leaving for the US on Saturday, Netanyahu instructed his cabinet and other government officials to refrain from commenting on Iran, according to Ha’aretz.

While Netanyahu will attempt to place the brakes on the US-Iranian talks until Israel states its case, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani has returned home to begin a campaign of his own – to strike a balance between those in his government who do not want a deal and the Iranian people who support his outreach and moderate tone.

Upon his return, Rouhani was welcomed with a mixture of support and derision from the public and those within his own government.

Abbas Amanat, professor of history and international studies at Yale and director of the Program in Iranian Studies at MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, sees a small window of opportunity for Rouhani to exploit to achieve a deal.

“The window of opportunity may close even sooner for Rouhani once the hardliners around the Supreme Leader have licked their wounds and regrouped. If Rouhani cannot deliver even a mild version of what he promised, he will be vulnerable to attacks from opponents. Making headway with nuclear negotiations, relaxing sanctions and improving the domestic economy all depends on a large extent on the international community, and in particular the United States, and their appreciation of Rouhani’s quandary, Amanat writes in Yale Global Online.

And if he doesn’t seize on that window, Amanat says his failure “may very well result in greater militancy and deeper resentment and may even trigger a military strike that would be disastrous to Iran, to the security of the region and to the United States’ standing in the Middle East.”

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