On July 14, just hours after six world powers signed the nuclear deal with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a press conference. In dramatic fashion, he announced, “The world is a much more dangerous place today than it was yesterday.” He went on to warn, “The leading international powers have bet our collective future on [the] deal,” because Iran will now have the capacity to build an enormous nuclear arsenal. He concluded his statement with a threat and a promise: “Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction. We will always defend ourselves.”
On Dec. 15, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a statement that it was ending its investigation into Iran's nuclear program because there was no evidence that Tehran had continued its research on the development of nuclear weapons after 2009. Considering Netanyahu's dramatic press conference less than six months ago, one question comes to mind: Why is Israel, at least officially, content to issue a relatively low-key response to the IAEA’s decision to end its investigation into whether Iran had either developed or attempted to develop nuclear weapons? After all, Tuesday’s statement effectively sealed the case opened 12 years ago in response to suspicions that Iran was actively trying to obtain nuclear weapons for military purposes. The United States congratulated the IAEA for its decision.