by Khaled Abu Toameh

Many Arabs and Muslims are celebrating the Saudi-Iranian agreement to restore diplomatic relations as a devastating blow to the Biden Administration, a victory for Iran and China, and a sign of Washington’s failed policies in the Middle East.

According to these Arabs and Muslims, the Saudi-Iranian pact is the direct result of the Biden Administration’s antagonism towards America’s traditional Arab allies, especially Saudi Arabia, and the American policy of appeasement towards the mullahs in Iran.

Lebanese-born American scholar Walid Phares wrote that in the past two years he has been issuing warnings that the Biden administration’s dealings with the Arab allies “were neither at the required level nor with the necessary depth.”

According to Phares, the Obama Administration “went too far in its partnership with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, while turning its back on the Arab countries, with the aim of establishing partnerships with Islamists in the region.”

Phares pointed out that this policy of the Obama administration led to the first crisis of confidence between Washington and the Arab countries. The Trump Administration, however, he noted, “embarked on an unprecedented alliance with the Arabs to isolate Iran and defeat the Islamic State (ISIS).”

“The Arab-American alliance lasted four years, and Saudi Arabia and its partners committed themselves to the shared agenda on all fronts, starting with confronting the [Iranian-backed] Houthis [in Yemen] and supporting those who confronted Iran, in addition to uprooting Al-Qaeda and ISIS and, most importantly, delegitimizing radical Islam… However, the fluctuation in US foreign policy after the end of the Trump administration and the arrival of President Joe Biden’s administration put the Saudis, and with them all the Arabs, in a difficult position. The Arabs continued with their commitment to the policy agreed upon with the Trump administration, but the administration of his successor turned against it. In 2021, the Arab coalition found itself headed towards war with Iran, while the Biden administration was going to make peace with Tehran!”

Phares noted that the Biden Administration has continued the policy of the Obama Administration by ignoring the Arab coalition and the concerns of the Arab countries about the expansionist and terrorist dangers of the radicals in the Middle East. The Arabs, he added, also saw how the Biden Administration handed over Afghanistan to the Taliban “and were shocked to see the West scrambling towards the negotiating table with the Iranians, while ignoring the Arab countries and their national interests.”

Many Arabs have also taken to social media to praise the Chinese-brokered Saudi-Iranian agreement, hailing it as a major defeat for the policies of the Biden administration and a victory for China.

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