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“I think that Netanyahu is walking a fine line between wanting to emphasize that there is reason to be skeptical, but also not look like he’s dismissing the entire diplomatic process and therefore insistent on making war,” said Khaled Elgindy, a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

“He doesn’t want to be the guy who’s seen as just gunning for war,” said Mr. Elgindy, who noted that Mr. Netanyahu likely is acutely aware of the American public’s limited appetite for Middle Eastern wars.

Three-quarters of Americans say they favor direct diplomatic negotiations with Tehran in an attempt to prevent that country from developing nuclear weapons, according to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday.