The recent Middle East visit by US President Joe Biden, his trip to the occupied lands and also Saudi Arabia in direct flight from Tel Aviv, in view of many experts, translate to Washington’s struggle to form a new Middle East which aims to confront Islamic Republic of Iran and join more countries to the normalization deal with Israeli regime.
Michael N. Barnett, international political scholar in an interview with International Qur’an News Agency (IQNA) related on the foreign policy of Joe Biden’s administration in the Middle East in regards to his recent visit to the occupied Palestinian lands and Saudi Arabia.
In response to a question on Joe Biden’s objective in choosing the Middle East as his destination referring to the issues challenging his administration and called the Middle East a friendlier place for Biden in comparison with Washington DC.
University professor of international affairs and political sciences at the George Washington University added,” Several national security and economic issues should be addressed though Iran is probably number one issue in this trip.
He rejected media estimations on impacts of the trip to improve the political reputation of Lapid and Biden and said,” My understanding is that this trip had been discussed much longer before collapse of Israeli cabinet and I do not imagine that domestic policy has any impact on the decision for the trip.”
Barnett noted,” Biden’s support for Israeli regime is not the main issue and his visit to Tel Aviv does not help him at all and I do not think he is interested in the domestic issue of Israeli regime. On the other hand, his visit to Saudi Arabia will bring him political advantages in short time.”
He added,” As the term of Prime Minister Netanyahu has ended and the situation is stabilized to some extent, Joe Biden will not reverse any of the decisions made by Trump in regards to Israeli regime.”
In response to a question on human rights issues Saudi government is struggling with and also Yemen war, Barnett said,” There is much pressure on Joe Biden to gain advantages on human rights issues but the US President is not visiting Saudi Arabia to impose pressure on Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman but to discuss oil, Iran and security issues.”
International political scholar explained his views on likelihood of formation of an anti-Iran coalition in the Middle East due to lesser possibility of US return to JCPOA and said,” The general view is that Iran, following Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, has made considerable achievements and Biden will not achieve his demands from Tehran to be bought by the public or the congress.”
In his view if the NPT agreement is not on the table, then clearly the next step is strengthening defensive power in the region.
American university professor concluded with his view on declining popularity of Joe Biden and likelihood of failure for the Democrats in November elections and said,” Biden’s popularity will not rise in this trip although if his visit to the Middle East does not bring a positive result it will certainly damage that.
Michael Barnett is University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at the George Washington University. His research interests span the Middle East, humanitarianism, global governance, global ethics, and the United Nations. Among his many books are Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda; Dialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional Order; Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism; Rules for the World: International Organizations in World Politics. His current research projects include an edited volume and the changing forms of global governance (to be published by Cambridge University Press), hierarchies in humanitarian governance; the end of the two state-solution and the rise of the one-state reality in Israel/Palestine; and the relationship between suffering and progress in the liberal international order.