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Dennis Ross To The Middle East

A nugget obscured by yesterday's summit between Obama and Netanyahu: Ha'aretz reports that the administration's chief Iran policy official, Dennis Ross, has been visiting Arab capitals in the Persian Gulf and Egypt, laying the groundwork for a new U.S. tack towards Iran. It is often said, at least by Iran hawks, that the only people who fear a nuclear Iran as much as Israel are the Arab regimes. (Iran hawks often claim that Arab leaders would welcome  an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites, though I find that tough to swallow--particularly given the rallying cry that would offer to  populist Islamic groups in countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia which threaten those regimes.)

Yesterday's White House meeting, meanwhile, was an interesting contrast in styles. Obama seemed to cool and aloof host, leaning back in his chair, not betraying much emotion. Netanyahu was leaning into the American president, gesticulating with his hands, speaking at times in an almost plaintive tone. One man clearly feels a deep sense of urgency, the other still seems to be weighing his options. (Video excerpt here.)

--Michael Crowley