Historic Saudi-Iran Deal Proves ‘Major Setback’ for US But Raises Questions About JCPOA Lifeline

In this image made from April 17, 2021, video released by the Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, state-run TV, various centrifuge machines line the hall damaged on Sunday, April 11, 2021, at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment FacilityInternationalIndiaAfricaThe historic Saudi-Iranian agreement to reestablish diplomatic ties will prove to be a serious concern for the US, which has long sought to ensure Iran remains isolated in the Middle East, an expert told Radio Sputnik.Richard Becker, author of “Palestine, Israel and the US Empire,” told Radio Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Friday that the deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran would effectively serve as a “major setback” for the US as the two powerhouse nations work to resume diplomatic ties.Earlier Friday, representatives from Saudi Arabia and Iran met in Beijing, along with a senior Chinese diplomat, and announced that they reached an agreement to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries.The two sides agreed to host meetings with their foreign ministers, send ambassadors to each country and revive previously signed security cooperation deals and other previously abandoned agreements.“I would say first and foremost it’s a big setback from the US imperial point of view, and the point of view of the empire,” Becker told show hosts Michelle Witte and John Kiriakou, noting that the development specifically puts a black mark on the US’ continued efforts to keep Iran and any forces against the American agenda in complete isolation.Becker, who also serves as the West Coast coordinator for the ANSWER Coalition, noted that Saudi Arabia was “created by the United States and Britain back in 1932,” and that despite the litany of human rights abuses, Saudi Arabia is still considered a “strong ally” of the US.MilitaryUS Established ‘Contingency Plan’ for War With Iran, New Report Finds3 March, 00:02 GMTThe reason for that, Becker said the United States has been trying to isolate Iran and other “forces of resistance in the region” for some time.“They have been trying to isolate Iran in particular,” Becker said. “They are trying to defeat the forces of resistance in the region, those who are resisting the US agenda and the Israeli agenda in the area. And that means Iran and some forces inside of Iraq, the government of Syria, the . Nasrallah-led Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, the Houthi movement in Yemen.” “This is a big setback to that strategy of Isolation for Iran. It doesn’t mean the US is going to stop,” he underscored.However, Becker further contended that China having brokered the deal is what is adding even more salt in the wound for the US in its imperial aims.“The other side of it was the fact that the agreement was reached in China, in Beijing. Who the US’ new leaders are targeting as their main enemy in the world, which also underlines how much of a setback this is for the United States,” he said.WorldUS Intel Chiefs Designate China & Its Goal of ‘Seeking Global Influence’ as ‘Unparalleled Priority’9 March, 11:49 GMTThe “new leaders” referenced by Becker were national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Kurt Campbell, who serves as Biden’s top Asia hand at the National Security Council.”They are not happy about the latest news that’s come out,” Becker said of the trio.

"I think they can of course guarantee the security of Saudi Arabia… but one of the big questions will be whether the US will resume the Iran deal."

The US has remained a non-partner of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action since the days of the Trump White House, which announced in 2018 that the US would withdraw over allegations that Tehran had violated stipulations of the Obama-era agreement. Although US President Joe Biden did promise to return to the deal once in office, he has yet to deliver, with latest talks stuck at a stalemate with negotiators.


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