A long weekend for the two nations ended on a sour note with Saudi Arabia having already started with the Monday grind.
Donald Trump’s tenure as the President of the United States is living its last days and so is the honeymoon period for Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Under the Republican president, both the middle east countries found a safe-haven against the common enemy, Iran. But now that America has a new Democratic president-elect, the two countries are struggling to stick with optimism. On the other hand, President-elect Joe Biden has his fair share of challenges lined up as soon as he takes office.
It would be interesting to watch Biden’s diplomatic trail in the contentious region of the middle-east where choosing sides often results in notable repercussions.
However, the world pretty much already knows about Joe Biden’s ground on the matter. And this is the reason that the Peace Treaty between Israel and UAE is already displaying signs of collapse. But before discussing President-elect Joe Biden’s stance on Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran and how the Trump administration was a lottery for the first two and hell for Iran, let’s understand the series of events that have unfolded since the US Presidential Elections culminated in Biden’s win.
Secret Meeting Between Saudi and Israel could bring no Substantial Results
In the last week of November, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman were alleged to have held a secret meeting amid the Arabian dunes. Diplomats back in Washington were expecting a positive outcome on the momentum of the Abraham Accords. However, things ended up in the opposite direction — Saudi Prince pulled off the deal maneuvered by the Trump administration.
Watch: Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s secret meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman
So why did the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia refuse to stick with the settlement endorsed by the incumbent President of the United States, Donald Trump? The answer is the result of the recently completed US Presidential elections 2020.
According to US and Saudi officials, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is choosing to built a good relationship with president-elect Biden by walking away from Israel and unfastening the ties established during the Trump administration. Furthermore, officials suggest that there are other grounds responsible for MBS’ withdrawal from the settlement with Israel, like the uncertainty surround the Palestine situation. However, the motivating factor between both the countries is again the same common enemy, Iran.
Joe Biden’s Take on America’s Middle East Policy
The United State’s President-elect might have shared a cordial, albeit blunt, relation with Netanyahu. However, this friendship is to be tested on the matter of Palestine. The Democratic politician has time and again criticized Israel for its forced settlements on Palestinian land. The criticism is expected to move forward into some sort of resolution by Biden in his tenure in the White House.
Furthermore, Biden is expected to rekindle the Iran nuclear deal which was introduced by Barack Obama but later revoked by Trump. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran was mandated to drastically cut down its nuclear stockpile by 98%, keeping Uranium enrichment at just 3.67% to facilitate power generation. In return, the US lifted its economic sanctions on Iran. As per reports, Iran had enough nuclear content to create eight to ten bombs, which is seen as a direct threat by both Israel and Saudi Arabia who see the country as their biggest enemy.
Watch: Inside President Barack Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal
Israel and Saudi Arabia claim that the deal is fundamentally flawed. There claims do hold water. The biggest shortcoming of the deal is its tenure — 15 years is too small a period of time to reduce the nuclear content considerably. But it is more than enough for Iran to become economically strong, posing a bigger threat to its adversaries. It remains to be seen how Joe Biden’s presidency will call for extra efforts to extract benefits out of the diplomatic ties with both Israel and Saudi Arabia. Recent developments suggest that efforts with the latter have already started.