Israeli experts comment that only months after taking over as President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani has sabotaged Israel's international efforts to halt his country's nuclear program, caused an unprecedented deterioration in Israel-US relations, and taken America's military option off the table.
The cover story of Forbes Magazine's latest edition, summarizing the year 2013, focuses on the far-reaching influence of Rouhani's "charm offensive" on Israel in a mere matter of months.
Rouhani's historic nuclear deal is the highlight of his achievements presented in the article. In addition to cancelling Iranian isolation, the deal has led to a crisis in relations between the Islamic regime's greatest enemy, Israel, and Israel's main ally, the US.
The Israeli security and academic experts quoted in the article note that Iran's control of the international sphere comes at Israel's expense, which is taking Iran's place as an isolated country.
"The (nuclear) agreement hurt trust between Israel and the US, and hurt Israel's standing," former head of Israel's Mossad intelligence service Ephraim Halevi told Forbes. "Israel is viewed as weak and isolated while Iran is seen as strong and influential in the region."
Deteriorating relations between Israel and the US have been noted by many analysts recently, with some pundits remarking that the Iran nuclear deal saw the US "selling out its allies."
"The immediate victim of the deal between the US and Iran was the relations between Israel and the US, and the Israeli trust in the Americans," said former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman. "There's an ongoing process harming trust in the US, which started years ago. There's a feeling among American allies that it may not be the same strong US of the past."
This process shows that Rouhani's tactics are not the only cause of a shift in American relations towards Israel, as one academic expert asserts Obama is ready to "abandon Israel." Reports showed Obama had secretly been easing sanctions on Iran for 5 months before the deal.
"Rouhani is the ladder the Americans were waiting for to come down from the tree of striking Iran," remarked Dr. Tal Pavel, Middle East lecturer at Bar Ilan University. "Currently we are witnesses to a process in which the Iranians are leaving national isolation. Israel suddenly is viewed as a war mongerer, while Rouhani is given the image of a moderate."
While Rouhani has cultivated a more moderate image with his "charm offensive," he has belied this image as well, calling Israel an "old wound" to be removed in August.
Meanwhile, Iran has lately been stepping up its military rhetoric, testing a new long-range cruise missile and unveiling a new radar system.