wnol.info January 21 2018

Trump embraces Israel, but Russian ties still trail him

January 21 2018, 12:12 | Alexander Lowe

Trump embraces Israel, but Russian ties still trail him

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The first is the reversal of the Iran nuclear deal framework, brokered by former President Barack Obama in 2015, which calls for a restriction of Iran's nuclear capacities in exchange for significant economic incentives from the West.

The partnership between Saudi Arabia and the US emerged in 1930 with the formation of what would become the Arabian American Oil Company.

In the end, Yemen is not even on the radar of American security interests beyond denying terrorist organizations space to operate, train or recruit. This in spite of the dramatic differences in the way the two countries are governed.

Saudi Arabia doesn't exactly have a good reputation for championing women's rights, but the country is either trying to change that or simply curry favor with the current USA presidential administration.

Commentators have been quick to point out that Saudi Arabia is no less culpable in this matter. He then moved on to address efforts towards Middle East peace.

But contradictions between these objectives has insured that the Saudi-American relationship has never been trouble-free. Rouhani has invested a great deal of effort in dragging his country out of isolation because of the nuclear issue and finally succeeded in wrapping up the deal with the US and the four other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany. Saudi Arabia soon intervened to prevent the Iran-backed Houthis from consolidating their power on its border. He also signed the deal freezing Iranian work on nuclear weapons for ten years, and he clearly has popular support for his policies. It is hardly a natural ally for the United States.

A White House official said on background that the arms deal "demonstrates, in the clearest terms possible, the United States' commitment to our partnership with Saudi Arabia and our Gulf partners, while also expanding opportunities for American companies in the region, and supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in the US defense industrial base". President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has turned into a strongman, who suppressed all opposition and launched a crackdown that precipitated an insurgency by Islamic militants in parts of Egypt. The alliance between the US and the Saudis continued after the fall of the Soviet Union around a new pillar of USA policy, counterterrorism. Where are we heading in the Middle East?

And instead of saying thank you to the United States, they now feel emboldened. The president was greeted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and members of the Royal family, including Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the first and second in line to the throne respectively. It is a fact, however, that terrorism is on the rise globally, and many believe that terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are using Islam as a tool to realize their perverted ambitions. "But for the first time in many years - and, Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime - I see a real hope for change". Iran's "hardship" comes from punitive rhetoric and actions encouraged by lobbyists working for Iran's regional foes, namely Saudi Arabia and Israel, who have managed to convince American leaders to do their bidding.

The Saudis also have directly intervened militarily in next-door Yemen to prevent the Houthi movement, a Shi'ite group from northern Yemen, from emerging victorious in that country's civil war.

Saudi Arabia feels incredibly threatened by the Houthis on their southern border, especially since the Shi'a government in Iran is supporting them. The Saudis felt that the agreement was made over their objections.

For Saudi Arabia, the Trump visit signals a renewed partnership based on common concerns such as counter-terrorism, defeating ISIS, and Iranian support for the Syrian regime.

"It would be a mistake to read too much into the president's remarks", said Michael Oren, a former historian who now serves as deputy minister for diplomacy in the Prime Minister's Office.

"In order that he would consent to participate, the cursed Trump demanded Al Saud to offer almost half a trillion dollars (500 billion dollars) as a price for the Hubal [moon god] of the age, America, to commit to defending their thrones and making them and their sons secure in ruling Bilad al-Haramein", they said, using their name for the land of the mosques of Mecca and Medina. "And if you both are willing, we're going to make a deal".

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