Biden Should Call Off Iran Nuclear Talks
Analysis by Bobby Ghosh | Bloomberg | July 13, 2022

Condensed version for our readers.


American presidential trips to the Middle East are always freighted with anticipation and apprehension, but few have been burdened with the geopolitical baggage attached to Joe Biden’s visit — to Jerusalem today and Jeddah later in the week. Unusually, the guest will be as anxious about the outcome as his hosts.


Biden, having come to office with ideas about deprioritizing the Middle East in US foreign policy, now wants to reassert what he calls America’s “vital leadership role” in the region’s affairs. But Israeli and Arab leaders need proof that Biden is serious about taking on that role. The princes of the Gulf states are especially skeptical, sensing that the president will say anything to get them to pump more oil.


Doubts about his sincerity center on his attitude toward the country that the Israelis and Arabs fear most: Iran. They believe Biden, eager to revive the 2015 nuclear deal Tehran struck with the world powers, is too tolerant of Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, ranging from financing and arming a wide network of militias and terrorist groups to enriching uranium to levels well beyond any peaceful purpose.


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