Mideast Expert: After Iran Deal, Netanyahu Should be Considered for Nobel Prize
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “unwittingly enabled” the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Vice President at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars Aaron David Miller argued in Foreign Policy on Thursday.
After decades of pursuing a hard line against Iran’s state-sponsoring of terror and voicing concern over the country’s apparent desire for nuclear weapons (which Iran denies it ever had), it was Netanyahu and Israeli pressure, and threats of a military strike, which created the sense of urgency that brought the U.S. led by President Barack Obama and Iran to the negotiating table, wrote Miller, who quipped that the Israeli premier should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize should the deal be implemented.
Miller noted that Netanyahu raised the Iranian threat — a position he wrote was infused in the prime minister’s DNA — already in 1995 in his book Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism, and then just a year later during an address to Congress, where he called Iran the “most dangerous” of the Middle East’s “unreconstructed dictatorships whose governmental creed is based on tyranny and intimidation.”
Even then, Netanyahu insisted that the responsibility for preventing the nuclearization of terror-supporting Middle East governments rested exclusively on the United States, the dominant world power.
Later, after suspicious elements of Iran’s nuclear program were revealed, Netanyahu upped the ante when reports indicated Israel was on the threshold of launching air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, which Miller wrote galvanized the Obama administration into mobilizing its European allies to negotiate with Iran.
Miller also noted that Netanyahu’s staunch disapproval of both the November 2013 interim agreement and the April 2015 framework provided Iranian hard-liners with the political capital needed to sell the deal at home: since Israel’s rejection is so fierce, it must be good for Iran, went the logic.
Additionally, Netanyahu’s injection into the U.S. foreign policy debate hardened Obama to pursue the nuclear deal, even if that meant backtracking on so-called red lines his administration had previously set.