Since Biden’s victory in the presidential elections, the 46th President of the United States has come across various challenges and might even be taking back some of his promises. A few of the promises he made include strongholds of the Arab world such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.
During his campaigns in 2020, Biden promised to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its various human rights abuses, including the gruesome murder of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Earlier this year, the CIA released an official report that found that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had approved the killing of Khashoggi. The Saudi government, however, had rejected and added that all individuals involved in the murder would be investigated and punished. A few days later, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that a “Khashoggi Ban” will be imposed on the 76 individuals involved. But there are no restrictions or actions taken on the crown prince and the Trump Administration was careful to avoid any conflict with Saudi. When Biden was a presidential candidate, he vowed to make them a “pariah” - an outcast, over the killing. Now after his election, he is making every effort to maintain his relationship with the Royal Family.
Brett Bruen said, “ This is part of a perennial problem that presidents have had going back for decades. An unwillingness to take a hard line in Saudi Arabia. With respect to extremism, we have always had to do a delicate dance. We are reluctant to come down hard on them.” Will this strategic play that benefits the relationship and the nation continue to neglect many of Saudi Arabia’s internal and international crimes.
Another conflict with Saudi Arabia, is the Iran nuclear deal. Former president Donald Trump had withdrawn from the agreement during his term. But President Biden has promised to re-enter the deal. A promise that the Saudi government is trying best to avoid. Their main concern with the US re-entering the deal is that their security will be compromised. To avoid that, they are using all their resources “to complicate US efforts”.
In recent years, Iran promises to wage war using their nuclear forces. However, Biden’s administration shows no signs of creating a diplomatic and peaceful relationship with Iran. Instead, there have been multiple airstrikes in Syria which could escalate matters with Iran. Again, Biden promised to better relationships and relieve sanctions placed on Iran during the pandemic. The airstrikes and the non-compliance with their own obligations suggest otherwise.
These relationships and their status impact several industries, individual lives and potential wars between nations. A needed reform and action is necessary to protect the livelihood and economic stability for millions of people, especially during a pandemic.