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Israel vs. Iran, Again

Author: Jonathan Tepperman, Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs
July 27, 2013
International Herald Tribune


Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel went on American television to remind the world (in case anyone had forgotten) that the threat from Iran remains very much alive. Speaking on "Face the Nation," Netanyahu warned that the Islamic Republic is once again approaching a nuclear redline, and hinted that if the United States doesn't take action soon, he will.

Expect to hear more of this in the weeks ahead; Bibi's TV appearance was reportedly just the opening shot in a new campaign to push the spotlight back on Iran. But don't expect Washington or the international community to leap into action.

Netanyahu won't — and shouldn't — get the kind of response he's hoping for. Simply put, that's because both his language and Israel's behavior are make it harder and harder to take his warnings seriously.

The problem starts with just how familiar Israel's warnings on Iran have become. Netanyahu went through a similar exercise, remember, last summer. And the summer before that. In fact, Israeli leaders have been issuing such alarms for almost a decade now.

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