Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and President Obama deserve credit for reaching an accord limiting Iran’s nuclear enrichment program in return for easing crippling sanctions. It is encouraging that we are moving away from a strident confrontational approach and have softened our language to reach this accord. In contrast, Israel’s Prime Minister, Netanyahu are irked the US with his hyper-ventilating militaristic attitude attempting to drive a wedge between US lawmakers and the White House. It must be remembered that Netanyahu's hardline rhetoric is aimed at appeasing his right-wing coalition that helped him get elected as Prime Minister.
In sharp disagreement with Netanyahu, Israeli President Peres and former military chief Amos Yadlin support the US-Iranian accord. As a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has every right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Over 40 countries--signatories of the NPT--carry out enrichment programs. The International Atomic Energy Agency monitors the performance of most countries who produce nuclear fuel. In contrast, Israel has refused to sign the NPT lest its huge stockpile of nuclear weapons be exposed. As a historical footnote, it was the Bush administration who refused to respond to Iran’s diplomatic efforts which would have severely curtailed its nuclear ambitions. As a bonus, perhaps largely prompted by the US/Iranian accord, the Syrian government and the opposition have agreed to peace talks in Geneva on January 22.