Most of the reactions to Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the Capitol have been as predictable as the contents of the address. President Obama wasn’t impressed. Most Republican lawmakers and conservatives loved it. It made Representative Nancy Pelosi furious, and Netanyahu’s opponents in the upcoming Parliamentary election are bashing him for not staying in Israel to focus on domestic problems.
Iran, the country everyone has been actually talking about when they are talking about Netanyahu’s speech and U.S.-Israel relations, has not been quite as active in the watercooler discussion of its nuclear resources. However, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is currently negotiating with Secretary of State John Kerry and representatives from other countries in Switzerland, and was asked to respond to the speech at a press conference.
He accused Netanyahu of trying to influence the talks, something he has accused the prime minister of before. “He’s trying to, and I don’t think trying to create tension and conflict helps anyone,” Zarif said, summarizing the one problem that everyone, including Iran, has failed to learn since the beginning of human existence.
CNN reported that on Iranian television, “TV banners labeled the speech an example of Iranaphobia,’ with commentators saying that it humiliated U.S. President Barack Obama.” A New York Times report on Iran’s reaction to the speech noted that many policy analysts hoped Netanyahu’s words would hurt his popularity in the United States. Another told the Times it was all a game: “The rift between both allies is nothing more than a political trick. This so-called rift is a petty game of good cop, bad cop. We will not fall for that.”