The Biden Administration Could Downgrade Relations with Saudi Arabia in Hope of Placating Iran

March 22 2021

In the words of the White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the Biden administration has “made clear from the beginning” its intention to “recalibrate” relations with Saudi Arabia, which it has done by cutting support for Riyadh’s efforts to contain Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, sanctioning Saudi officials over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and so forth. Michael Doran, interviewed by Rafael Hoffman, evaluates this policy turn, and what’s behind it:

The Khashoggi killing was indefensible and I do not want to minimize that. But precisely because it was so indefensible it is now being dug up two years after it happened and used as a bomb by the administration as cover for its policy moves.

In the view of the Biden team, conflicts in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq are exacerbated by the aspirations of America’s traditional allies, namely Saudi Arabia and Israel, and by what the team views as Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s neurotic paranoia of Iran and its proxies. In their view, our allies are catapulting the U.S. into conflict with Iran as a way of fighting their own battles and that this forces America to take on more of an anti-Iran agenda than would serve our national interests.

This camp wants the U.S. to get out of being aligned with Israel and the Gulf states against Iran and to serve as a grand mediator between them. That was Barack Obama’s stated goal and that is the direction that the Biden administration would like to take.

One of what I see as the most disturbing premises of this view is that it looks at Iran’s interests and claims as legitimate and deserving of being balanced against those of our allies. It’s based on a false assumption that Iran is a pragmatic power with limited goals, that the U.S. and Iran have certain common goals like the destruction of Sunni-backed terrorism, and that there is a deal to be made with [Tehran]. It’s a very dangerous position that will deliver chaos to the Middle East and weaken our allies. Time has shown that the fact is that Iran is a dangerous power whose goal is hegemonic control of the region.

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Read more at Hamodia

More about: Barack Obama, Iran, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations

 

Iran’s Dangerous Dream of a Triple Alliance with Russia and China

Aug. 16 2022

Unlike Hamas, which merely receives support from the Islamic Republic, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—with which Israel engaged in a short round of fighting last week—is more or less under its direct control. In fact, the recent hostilities began with a series of terrorist attacks launched by PIJ from Samaria, which might in turn have been a response to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s call “to open a new front in the West Bank against the Zionist enemy.” Amir Taheri writes:

In Gaza, the Islamic Republic has invested heavily in promoting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. . . . Islamic Jihad is in a minority in Gaza, hence the attempt by Tehran to help it create a base in the West Bank.

Reliable sources in Baghdad say that [Iran’s expeditionary and terrorist paramilitary] the Quds Force has been “transiting” significant quantities of arms and cash via Iraq to Jordan, to be smuggled to the West Bank. The Jordanian authorities say they are aware of these “hostile activities.” King Abdullah himself has publicly called on Iran to cease “destabilizing activities.”

But such schemes, Taheri explains, are part of a larger strategic vision of creating a grand anti-Western alliance even while engaging in nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and Europe:

Last month, Khamenei praised Vladimr Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. And this month, China’s ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, praised the Islamic Republic for supporting China in “asserting its sovereignty” over Taiwan.

It is clear that some dangerous pipe-dreamers in Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran have fallen for the phantasmagoric vision of “three great powers” banding together and with help from “the rest,” that is to say, the so-called Third World . . . to destroy an international system created by the “corrupt and decadent.”

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: China, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Russia, West Bank