Iran Pulse

Iran paper sees conspiracy in Netanyahu speech

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Article Summary
While reactions have been mixed in Iranian newspapers, hard-line Kayhan believes that Netanyahu and Obama are actually deceiving the Iranian negotiators.

Most Iranian media outlets appear to understand the significance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to the United States to speak in front of congress today and warn American politicians against signing a nuclear deal with Iran. Many of Iran's media organizations have attempted to cover the controversy surrounding the speech, the White House’s disapproval of the event and point out that some senators will not attend Netanyahu’s speech out of protest.

However, hard-line Kayhan, whose editor is chosen by the supreme leader, has stood firm on its opposition to a nuclear deal between Iran and the UN Security Council and views the Netanyahu speech and the controversy around it as a ploy to get Iran to sign a bad deal.

Kayhan’s top story today, headlined “Netanyahu’s mission to support the Geneva agreement under the guise of opposition,” reported that the United States and Israel have engaged in what's called a “jeweler’s war,” which in Persian is when two sides work together to fake a conflict, in order to force Iran’s nuclear negotiators to make an “incorrect calculation” in the nuclear talks.

According to Kayhan, Israel’s opposition to the Geneva interim nuclear deal was “political maneuvering” to allow the United States to force Iran into more concessions, and now claims Netanyahu’s opposition to a nuclear deal is also intended to “deceive the Iranian team.”

While Kayhan’s position is not the official position of the government, nor the supreme leader — both of which support the nuclear talks  many Iran observers often see Kayhan’s top stories and the editorials of its editor, Hossein Shariatmadari, as representative of the conservative establishment.

Iran Newspaper, which operates under the administration, acknowledged that while there were domestic factors at play both for Netanyahu, who is facing an election in Israel, and Republican House Speaker John Boehner, Iranian media reports fail to account for other important factors.

For one, the “mythical influence of lobbies” was clear, according to the writer, when one considers that Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Switzerland while Netanyahu was in Washington meeting with US senators to deliver a much touted speech. The writer believes that the work of pro-Israel lobbies has become more difficult and they will continue to have a more difficult time in the United States.

As far as US-Israel relations and public opinion, the article added that for half a century it’s been common for American citizens to believe US and Israeli interests are completely aligned, “but now this equation is changing,” as Netanyahu and his supporters in the Senate have “created doubts” about this relationship. According to the article, American “public opinion can no longer tolerate the costs of the militaristic regime in Tel Aviv and according to one European official, is no longer willing to give a blank check to Tel Aviv.”

Found in: us-iranian relations, nuclear talks, nuclear negotiations, iran nuclear talks, congress, benjamin netanyahu

Arash Karami is a contributor to Al-Monitor. On Twitter: @thekarami

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