French President Francois Hollande began a three-day visit to Israel over the weekend, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was all smiles and full of praise for the French delegation that was apparently the last holdout in thwarting a “bad deal” that would have traded sanctions relief for some all-but-meaningless nuclear concessions from the Iranians:

Hollande vowed to keep up pressure on Iran and not make any concessions regarding nuclear proliferation. …

Speaking alongside Hollande, Netanyahu once again warned that Iran could soon have enough fissile material to develop a bomb within weeks and that Israel would not be bound to what he called a “bad deal.” At the same time, he thanked Hollande for leading a tough stance that has blocked a deal thus far. …

Netanyahu has tried to play down his differences with the Obama administration as a disagreement between the “best of friends,” but he went out of his way to charm Hollande — peppering his remarks with French and embracing him often. …

“Israel sees in France a true friend,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony. …

“The goal is that Iran renounces nuclear weapons forever,” he said Sunday. “We are against nuclear proliferation, and in Iran there has been a will — even once expressed — to enrich uranium to military capabilities.”

But whether or not France will stick to their guns when push comes to shove, however, is anybody’s guess. The Israelis are all too aware of the White House’s practically unbridled ambition to play the role of peacemaking power brokers and finally administer some kind (any kind) of deal with the Iranians, and the Obama administration will definitely be applying the pressure when negotiations pick up again this Wednesday. Hollande’s help might be Netanyahu’s last, best chance to stay what he insists is a terrible deal, as he explained on CNN this morning: If some of the sanctions are reduced but Iran decides not to follow through on their end of the deal, reimplementing the sanctions is no easily reversible feat. Via NRO: