President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have steadfastly denied linkage between the two issues. Obama says he is determined to contain Iran whether or not Israel plays ball on the Palestinian issue, and Netanyahu insists he is doing all he can to advance the peace process however Iran sanctions play out.
Nonetheless, recent events have driven both processes into a synchronicity.
The prospect of international unanimity on isolating Iran may help pave the way for Netanyahu to freeze settlement building in the West Bank and Jerusalem, a component the Obama administration considers critical to advancing the peace process.
Israeli media reports suggest that the Americans and Israelis have arrived at a formula that would end their recent war of words over settlements: Netanyahu effectively would end settlement expansion, including construction in eastern Jerusalem, and the United States would back away from unequivocal demands for a stop to such building.
U.S. officials in recent days seemed to be tamping down their anti-settlement rhetoric.