Throughout the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, and Germany) over Iran’s nuclear program, political leaders from around the world used social media to explain the deal to their constituencies. When Iran and the P5+1 reached a final agreement on 14 July, they intensified their social media campaign, especially in the United States and Israel.
In order to sell the deal to U.S. voters—with the ultimate goal of swaying Congress in its favor—the Obama administration launched a promotional Twitter account on 21 July. Using the handle @TheIranDeal, the White House posted facts and figures about the agreement and encouraged Twitter users to post questions and comments using the hashtag #IranDeal.
Many of the tweets posted on the White House’s Twitter account aimed to reassure pro-Israel Americans. “The U.S. will commit everything and anything necessary to protect Israel’s security, which will be enhanced by #IranDeal,” stated one tweet that echoed Secy. of State John Kerry’s continued assertions. Quoting Efraim Halevy, former head of Israel’s national intelligence agency, Mossad, the White House warned: “Without an agreement, Iran will be free to do as it pleases.” Sometimes using satire, other posts challenged claims that Iran would still have access to the materials necessary to build a nuclear weapon.
As the most vocal opponent to the deal outside the United States, Israel maintained its attempts to sway Congress, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intensifying his rhetoric against the deal as negotiations came to a close in Lausanne, Switzerland. In addition to posting on his two English language Twitter accounts, Netanyahu launched a Farsi account on 13 July. Using the Twitter handle @IsraeliPM_Farsi, he claimed that the Iran deal would fast-track Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. Netanyahu’s Farsi account provoked an immediate backlash from Iranians, and there were only five posts total in the two days leading up to the final deal on 14 July. His two English language accounts met with similarly poor success, with users dismissing his tweets as a fearmongering tactic.
This section strives to capture the tenor and content of popular conversations related to the Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Increasingly, these conversations are held on new and dynamic platforms unbound by traditional media. Therefore, items presented in this section are from a variety of sources, and have been selected because they either have gone viral or represent a significant cultural moment or trend.
Choice selections are also published in the Journal of Palestine Studies.