Against the backdrop of a complete reset in U.S.-Saudi relations, President-elect Joe Biden is also making it clear that he will press for a full re-entry into the Iran nuclear deal without any preconditions. He could very well turn back the clock four years and flood the Islamic Republic with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which would enable Tehran to recapitalize both its Revolutionary Guard and its sprawling terror operations throughout the Middle East. Biden could renew American support for the enrichment of uranium on Iranian soil and acquiesce to the expiration of international restrictions on transferring advanced arms to the mullahs.
The Biden administration, with bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate, will likely open a diplomatic assault on Riyadh to end its military involvement in Yemen, where it is fighting the Iranian-backed Houthis. The end of Saudi operations there would effectively cede the Saudi-Yemeni border to Iranian proxies. The pace of Iranian-sponsored, Yemen-based missile and drone attacks against Saudi Arabia could grow—and there may even be an effort to normalize U.S. ties with the Houthis as a political organization, rather than designate them as an Iranian-backed terror proxy.
But what if Saudi King Salman gave MbS the green light to take a leap—to do something dramatic that could prompt the incoming Biden administration to reframe its strategic perception of Saudi Arabia? That “something” is normalization with Israel.