Biden Contemplating Peaceful Exit from Fire with Abraham

Parisa Pasandepour
11 Min Read
Biden Contemplating Peaceful Exit from Fire with Abraham

Biden considers exiting the fire with Abraham’s peace

Draft agreement between America, Arab states, and Israel

According to a report published by Iran Gate, the Biden administration is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Donald Trump, and the Abraham Accords in establishing the foundations of an agreement with Saudi Arabia to recognize the country of Israel. This agreement will undoubtedly reflect certain conditions previously stated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Of course, it is still too early to call it an agreement, but as a step forward taken by the United States and Saudi Arabia, it is certainly noteworthy. However, reaching an agreement will be a difficult and challenging path.

All of these are happening at an undesirable historical moment on paper, with less than ideal relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, unfulfilled promises for truth and justice regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the thunderous presence of the Chinese in the Persian Gulf leading to the first historic closeness between Riyadh and Tehran, and ultimately the most right-wing government in the history of Israel using an iron fist against the Palestinian people. However, it is evident that realpolitik has triumphed over fundamental principles, even openly expressed by global powers.

According to what an American newspaper has reported, based on US officials, Riyadh has broadly accepted the US proposal to officially recognize Israel in exchange for granting privileges to the Palestinians by the Jewish government, Washington’s security guarantees to Saudi Arabia, and assistance in the peaceful development of its nuclear program.

As reported exclusively by The Wall Street Journal, after discussions with US officials, it is clear that we will soon be facing the most important peace agreement in the Middle East. However, there is still much work to be done to achieve a formal handshake, and negotiations will continue for the next few months. It is hopeful that these efforts will yield desirable results in the coming year.

Currently, there are no specific details available. John Kirby, the spokesperson for the US National Security Council, stated in a telebriefing with a limited group of reporters that negotiations are ongoing, but we still face challenges in establishing a framework for normalizing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Nevertheless, it appears that following the meeting between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Jeddah last month, and a few days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement expressing readiness to grant certain privileges in order to establish a close relationship between the Jewish state and the Gulf Kingdom, the first agreement may have been reached.

According to some experts, this effort to achieve this agreement is a strong signal of how the United States intends to narrow the space for its competitors in the region and place its signature on a historic proximity that occurred between the Saudis and Iranians with the mediation of China, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, citing US officials. The United States wants to reduce Riyadh’s level of relations with Beijing, which has recently been increasingly active in the region.

In this agreement, Washington wants to ensure that Riyadh does not allow China to build military bases in Saudi Arabia. The United States is also seeking to impose restrictions on Saudi Arabia’s use of technology developed by Huawei. Negotiators also want to ensure that Saudi Arabia does not eliminate the dollar as a tool for its transactions and will continue to use the US dollar for pricing oil sales.

It is also expected that the United States seeks ways to resolve the oil price disputes resulting from Saudi Arabia’s repeated production cuts, as the restrictions on oil production contribute to inflation and are one of the biggest challenges and problems for Joe Biden’s presidency considering the 2024 elections.

What Saudi Arabia is most interested in is the development of nuclear energy for non-military purposes and also greater security guarantees. Saudi Arabia is also seeking to obtain difficult concessions from Israel, including the creation of an independent Palestinian state. However, this move by Riyadh will come at the cost of taking a step back in its relations with Beijing, which has become increasingly involved in a region that has historically been a point of contention between the United States and Russia.

This project plan is a reconstruction of the base laid out by Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, which anticipated the gradual rapprochement of Gulf and North African monarchies including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco with Israel, all aimed at isolating Iran, Russia, and Syria, despite the declaration of a mission start by Washington, which is perceived as the main enemy in the region by Riyadh, Tel Aviv, and at this stage, and despite the announcements of the beginning of the mission, Iran, Russia, and Syria are considered united.

It is not clear what Riyadh wants from Tel Aviv, but the reality is that these demands will take place in one of the darkest periods in the recent history of Israeli-Palestinian relations, with violence that has resulted in the deaths of over 100 Palestinians since the current executive power came into play.

The repeated condemnation of Israel’s actions by the Saudi Arabian government can be seen as a step back by Riyadh, as it has always negated the possibility of reaching an agreement with Israel before the recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

Currently, there is more ambiguity and doubt in most cases than certainty and assurance. However, in one case, it can be claimed with confidence that it appears that all parties are willing to reach an agreement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to expand the anti-Iran coalition, while Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to increase his influence in the Middle East and beyond, which necessitates becoming a full-fledged nuclear power. As mentioned before, Biden is also seeking a major success in foreign policy in order to benefit from it during the election campaign.

Of course, on the other hand, Riyadh has doubts about completely abandoning China, and most importantly, since the start of the Ukraine war, it has shown how it can raise its head and make decisions contrary to the positions of its best ally, Washington. In addition, he has previously informed his aides that he is not ready to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel similar to the agreement that Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates in 2020.

Netanyahu is concerned about Saudi Arabia’s potential nuclear program, even though it has been claimed that it will be used for non-military purposes. However, there is always this sense of concern that it could also be exploited for military purposes. Ultimately, the Palestinians have always demanded the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, just as the Americans have always emphasized the creation of two independent states.

On the other hand, Israel is completely opposed to this concept. Although granting privileges to the Palestinians is part of this draft agreement, Netanyahu’s government downplays its importance and considers it less significant than we think. Ultimately, he intends to take small actions, and we have yet to see how his hardline allies will react, as they are currently seeking to expand settlements on the West Bank and this is happening.

In any case, it seems that the three-step process has been initiated, but this is just a beginning, and filling the gap to reach the goal requires strong will and readiness from all parties to make difficult and significant decisions.

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Master's Degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Diplomatic Sciences and International Relations, Genoa, Italy.