Biden administration announces a change in US policy in the Middle East
The United States, led by Joe Biden, announced a global change in the US policy in the Middle East, including a review of military support for the Gulf states and the dialogue resumption of dialogue with Iran that would take some time. And the future of the Iranian nuclear deal that Donald Trump withdrew Washington from looks set to be one of the most pressing priorities on the international stage. But US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken eased the rush one day after taking office. In his first press conference, he said that President Biden made it clear if Iran once again fulfilled all its obligations to the 2015 treaty, the United States will do the same.
Blinken added that Iran has stopped fulfilling its obligations on several fronts. “It will take time if they make that decision to get back on track, and it will take time to assess whether Iran is fulfilling his obligations. We are still a long way from this. That is the least it can be said,” he indicated. But the negotiations are likely to be difficult because the Islamic Republic is demanding otherwise and wants Washington to take the first step by lifting US sanctions before anything else.Anthony Blinken did not make clear how he intended to solve this crisis. On Wednesday, he met his French, British, and German counterparts, who are very attached to the Iranian nuclear deal.
Comments from the US minister came as Russia and Iran on Tuesday called on the US to bail out the nuclear deal so that Iran fulfils its obligations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, after receiving his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, that “the matter itself is saving it, and we, like Iran, to return to its complete implementation.”For his part, Iran has mentioned Biden, just two days after assuming his presidential duties, of what he considers requirements to salvage the nuclear deal. In an article published in the US magazine Foreign Affairs, Zarif said that the new Washington administration must make a fundamental choice, adopted by the Tycoon and return to the agreement abandoned by his predecessor.
The State Department initiated a review of the recent and controversial previous government decisions. Washington’s first result was the suspension of ongoing arms sales, until a review, to make sure they hit strategic goals, according to the US State Department, Wednesday. Among these deals that have frozen, accurate ammunition for Saudi Arabia, most notably F-35 fighters for the UAE.
Riyadh, with the support of Abu Dhabi, is leading a military alliance with the Yemeni government in the conflict against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Blinken pledged last week to end US support for this coalition, which is accused of making many mistakes against Yemeni civilians, and in other conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. He said that “this alliance has contributed to what is often considered the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.”
Biden will urgently review the decision to include the Houthis on the US list of terrorist organizations, which has come under criticism from all sides. The decision threatens to block the delivery of humanitarian aid to large areas held by rebels. These choices anticipate a major shift in the balance of US alliances, such as Saudi Arabia with Israel, the main pillar of Donald Trump’s anti-Iran policy. All this worries the Gulf countries, although Blinke welcomed the historic normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, with the Jewish state, but indicated that he has already begun to consider the commitments made by Washington to extort these agreements, in order to achieve their global understanding.