This is not the time for anything close to a complete assessment of the agreement with Iran.

Commentators can find points where Israel''s insistence might have shaped the final deal, but so far the tendency of Israeli officials and party leaders--not all of them right of center--is to complain that the agreement is bad, too lenient, and gives Iran everything it wanted.

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The Prime Minister said that Israel is not bound by the agreement, and must assure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.

The US wanted an agreement, with cynics seeing it as Obama''s strategy of getting a second Nobel Peace Prize.

Avigdor Lieberman joins the criticism of the agreement, but he also emphasizes that Israel must be mindful of its dependence on the US  He says that we must be careful not to push big brother too hard, but to reconsider things in light of this deal, and look around for others with whom we can advance our interests.

His comments demand attention, insofar as he has returned to his previous position as Foreign Minister after a long career with the police, prosecutors and judges. Some of those who dealt with him over the course of 10-14 years remain convinced that he should have been judged guilty on one or another charge of corruption.

Speculation about Lieberman is competing on our agenda with speculation about Iran. Comments about his intentions and future may be no more reliable than what we hear about the prospects of an agreement that depends on the intentions of numerous governments, the capacity of corporate giants to press for access to the Iranian market, the intricacies of nuclear installations, Iranian efforts to keep some hidden, and commitments about more penetrating inspections. Also worrying is the man the Iranians call their Supreme Leader, who most recently called Israelis rabid dogs and led a crowd chanting Death to America.

Lieberman is working to refurbish his reputation and gain traction as Israel''s diplomat in chief, with responsibilities going beyond what was allowed during his previous service. Then he had the title of Foreign Minister, but the leading diplomats were Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Almost all agree that Lieberman has his eye on the larger prize of prime minister, but Netanyahu shows no signs of tiring.

Among Lieberman''s political maneuvers are his criticism of Netanyahu as being too outspoken against the US, and his  alliance with SHAS leader Ariyeh Deri in local elections. Despite their lack of success, this cooperation signaled Lieberman''s effort to broaden his constituency beyond the Russian community. Given the ultra-Orthodox constituency of Deri, it also questions Lieberman''s commitments to the Russians''  desires for easier routes to conversion, and--for those not interested in converting--the possibility of civil marriage.

Israelis hear "Russia" and "Putin" when Lieberman speaks about broadening Israel''s perspective beyond what must be its principal linkage with the US.

That is no surprise given Lieberman''s background, Mother tongue, and apparent rapport with the Russian leadership. However, tensions between the US and Russia lead to questions about his balancing of a continued dependence on the US with his concern to look elsewhere.

Also in the air, and complicating any easier road upward for Avigdor Lieberman are tensions in the alliance between Likud and Lieberman''s party Israel Beiteinu (Israel our Home), Likud activists feel that Netanyahu gave too much in order to arrange an alliance that produced "Likud our Home," but failed to gain any electoral benefits. 

In the context of aging Russians and the assimilation of their children into the Israeli mainstream, Lieberman may see his future as a leader of Likud. He was among the party leaders as Director-General of Likud, and then Director-General of the Prime Minister''s Office during Netanyahu''s first term.

Since then Lieberman has spent years as the head of a political party sometimes close to Likud and sometime not so close. Now his maneuvering must deal with Likud ministers more firmly attached to the mass of party activists, who see themselves as Netanyahu''s most likely successor. 

While all this is going on, there has been a diplomatic breaking apart of Egypt and Turkey, and reasons to wonder about the responses to the Iran deal by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.

With our Foreign Minister saying that it is a time to reconsider Israel''s place in the world, there is a lot to ponder, including where Palestine sits on the evolving agendas of those claiming to be concerned with future of the Middle East.

So many worries, and this is only the first day of the week.


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