Senior Saudi officials fear Biden’s Iran policy: ‘A pro-Iranian president’

Senior Saudi officials called Biden a “a pro-Iranian president who will adopt a conciliatory policy towards Tehran that will endanger the region.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Senior Arab officials are concerned that President-elect Joe Biden will lift U.S. sanctions on Iran and reinstate the nuclear deal entered into by former President Obama in 2015.

President Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. The decision was part of a “maximum pressure” strategy, utilizing sanctions on nearly all of the Iran’s industries to force the country to suspend its nuclear program.

Saudi officials waited until last night to reach out to Biden and congratulate him, a sign of how disappointed they are by Trump’s loss. Biden has promised to end U.S. support for Saudi military activities in Yemen.

Speaking to Israel Hayom, senior Saudi government officials called Biden a “a pro-Iranian president who will adopt a conciliatory policy towards Tehran that will endanger the region.”

An Emirati security official told Israel Hayom, “There is grave concern that Biden’s cabinet will be made up of Obama’s people, and that the Biden administration will remove sanctions from Tehran.”

Egyptian and Bahraini officials also expressed their concerns about the impact of a Biden presidency on Iranian sanctions.

Although holding to the long-standing position that it doesn’t matter who leads the U.S., Iran can only be pleased with Biden’s victory. It has admitted in the past that U.S. sanctions have hurt it. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has already demanded that Biden “compensate for past mistakes” and reinstate the nuclear deal.

Iranian state news agency IRNA reported that Rouhani said, “Now, an opportunity has come up for the next U.S. administration to compensate for past mistakes and return to the path of complying with international agreements through respect of international norms.”

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Biden yesterday. Local media has reported that Abbas will ask Biden to return the U.S. Embassy to Tel Aviv, following Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh tweeted, “We look forward to constructive bilateral U.S.-Palestinian relations towards achieving a just and lasting peace within the frame of two states and ending the Israeli occupation.”

“President Mahmoud Abbas is ready for immediate engagement when there is a partner and a serious process with clear terms of reference,” he added.