On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, delivered a well-written speech in the US Congress, which has been a subject of much controversy, as he himself acknowledged in his opening remarks. Nuclear negotiations with Iran are President Barrack Obama’s most ambitious and significant foreign policy initiative, which has been consistently opposed by the Israeli PM as well as Arab nations including Saudi Arabia. While P5+1 countries (US, UK, Russia, France, China and Germany) attempt to reach a nuclear deal before the approaching deadline, opposition to the proposed terms of the arrangement has only grown fiercer.

Democrats have described Mr. Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, on the invitation of Speaker of the House John Boehner, as an affront to the White House, US Congress, and mere “political theatre” aimed at wooing the Israeli public before the country’s elections to be held on March 17. At least 56 Democrats skipped the address while Republicans overcompensated with a generous welcome and applause throughout the speech that seems to have further antagonised President Obama and those who agree with his approach.

Mr. Netanyahu, who has termed Iran’s nuclear programme, as an existential threat hinted that Israel might undertake unilateral action but hopes that it does not come to that. The partisan divide in the US is clear as ever, and Mr Netanyahu has only raised the stakes by declaring the proposed agreement “a very bad deal” that will “all but guarantee” that Iran eventually develops a nuclear weapon. The Israeli PM highlighted “two major concessions” which may be a part of the deal to the detriment of global peace and stability: he first is that Iran would be allowed to maintain a vast nuclear infrastructure including centrifuges for uranium enrichment and the second is the 10-year sunset clause after which Iran could continue work and develop a weapon swiftly. So far, the response from the White House and Democrats has failed to directly address these concerns and criticised Mr Netanyahu for not providing a viable alternative. No matter what the outcome, it is clear that US-Israel relations may suffer further setbacks as only one person – Obama or Netanyahu – will prevail in the current situation.