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The next frontier in US-Iran relations: Reducing Iran-Israel tensions

As the US brokered the normalization of ties between Egypt and Israel, the same could happen in Iran-Israel ties.
French President Francois Hollande and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) listen to speeches during the second edition of the Israel-France innovation day in Tel Aviv, November 19, 2013.    REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer (ISRAEL  - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX15JYG

The Islamic Republic highlighted a tonal shift in foreign relations with Israel when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used social media in September to offer greetings on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. In an unwavering response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the opportunity to counter with an emphatic, aggressive speech against Iran at the UN General Assembly.

Netanyahu’s reaction makes clear that even in the wake of warming US-Iran relations, Israel is left with growing worry regarding the United States’ commitment to ally Israel’s own national security. More importantly, Israel is actively working to hinder a successful nuclear deal for Iran. At the end of last week, negotiations attempting to limit Iran’s nuclear program were put on hold before a resolution could be reached. France insisted that the proposed limitations for capping Iran’s atomic-bomb-making capabilities weren’t harsh enough. Despite these differences, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, noted that “significant progress” had been made on these issues. In reciprocation, during a defiant speech, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, characterized Israel as “the warmongering rabid dog … that does not even deserve to be called an animal.”

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